Missionary Weekly Reflection
Sunday, 29 December 2019
Feast of the Holy Family: Jesus, Mary and Joseph
Sir. 3:2-6,12-14; Ps. 128:1-2,3,4-5; Col. 3:12-21; Mat. 2:13-15,19-23
The name of “Holy Family” has the impression of a family filled with peace, security and prosperity. This impression is clearly influenced by Christmas’ atmosphere. Christmas is indeed dominated with joy and peace. All are joyful: angels, shepherds and human, even cattle and sheep too. The Holy Family from Nazareth, then, becomes an ideal for a secure, peaceful and joyful family. However, this is only one part of the story. From the start, Matthew presented the Lord’s birth under the shadow of the cross. Herod and the religious leaders were “disturbed” by the Baby’s presence. From the beginning, there had been an attempt to eliminate “the new born Jewish King” (Mat. 2:2). That is the first message: from the beginning till now, the novelty presented by the Baby is always disturbing. The Good News that He presented and we preach, will always be opposed by the rulers and by those who enjoy the status-quo. Throughout the history, Herod is only changing form and name!
Second, the Baby is repeating the history of Israel people. By fleeing to Egypt (v. 14), He had the same fate with Israeli ancestors who had to flee to Egypt because of the danger of starvation. By coming back from Egypt (v. 21), He repeated the Exodus experienced by the people of God. Not only becoming the peak of Israel history (Mat. 1:1-17), Jesus also repeated and took part in the journey of the people of God. He and His family experienced our pilgrimage, having the same fate as thousands of family who had to flee and be isolated because of sufferings, pressure and hostility.
Third, do not forget Joseph’s role. Not without reason the tradition calls him the “protector of Jesus and the Holy Family”. That is the role that Matthew presented in this story. Joseph is presented actively especially when there are dangers intimidated Baby Jesus and His mother (v. 13, cf. 1:20). Without a word, Joseph only carried out God’s command which was conveyed by the angel. All commands to Joseph was always for the sake of Jesus and His mother. From Joseph we learn about obedience to God’s will and plan. We also emulate his commitment and dedication to his family, especially in the moments of difficulty, danger and threatened situation.
Fourth, what can we learn from Mary? In the Gospel of Matthew, the Mother of the Lord is totally silent, never spoke a word. She did not play any role. However, whenever she appeared, she was always with Jesus. This unique relationship between the Child and His mother was affirmed. They were inseparable. Matthew emphasized it five times, with the formula “the Child and (Mary) His mother” (v. 11, 13, 14, 20, 21). “Child” is always in the first place, then His mother! Without much talk and style, Mary kept on accompanying the Baby Jesus. As a mother, she put herself as the servant of her Son. She accompanied Jesus wherever He went and fled. She accompanied the Child in every step of His life. Mary teaches you and me to maintain our relationship with God in our life of pilgrimage. Keep on following Him wherever He takes us, of course on “Mary’s way”: with silence, without show off and boasting.
(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:
For Evangelization intention:
The future of the youth: May every country resolve to determine and take the necessary steps to put ahead and guarantee the future of the youth, especially those who suffer and despair. We pray…
For Indonesian Churches intention:
Marriage Fidelity: May the fidelity to marriage pledge will not fade because of trivial matters in daily life which often trigger a dispute in the family. We pray…
May the people in our Diocese welcome the wisdom of Holy Spirit to take an important role in building the wisdom of peace and perseverance in family in their home or in their place of service. We pray …