For many over the last few days the celebration of Christmas has been an opportunity for families to come together, often after some significant time apart, and, in each other’s company, to rejoice at the divine relationship of God and Man by recognizing the importance of the relationships that we enjoy with each other, whether by blood, or by the supernatural bond which is formed in us by virtue of our baptism into the life of Christ and the Church.
The feast of the Holy Family is a particular reminder of this, continuing this emphasis by presenting us with the example of the Lord’s earthly family, that we might imitate more closely his heavenly family. The Holy Family of Nazareth is given to us in the light of Lord’s nativity as a model of living for us to imitate, and a type of the fullness of life itself, which is the life of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity; the relationship of God the Father with God the Son, in and through God the Holy Spirit. That relationship, which is of the essence of our life in Christ and our hope of eternal life in him, is one begun in us by our sacramental washing in the waters of the sacred font, in baptism, and seen most particularly in the offering of the Eucharistic sacrifice, the Holy Mass. In baptism we are grafted to Christ, incorporated into his mystical body, the Church, and so necessarily caught up in his divine life and in the eternal offering of his perfect sacrifice of praise to his Eternal Father. By virtue of our death to self, and our subsequent regeneration into new life in Christ, we too are intimately one with him: one with him in this life, we will be one with him in the next if we resist the poison and sickness of sin, which seeks to kill the mutual relationship he has established.