The Truth of God and the Family

‘Have you Ever Thought About how we can Know the Mind of God?

The Truth of God and the Family
The Nativity – painting by Antoniazzo Romano (Antonio di Benedetto Aquilio)

The truth of God and the family is presented in the following homily by Deacon James M. Sinacore, delivered at St. John Vianney Parish, Northlake Illinois, on December 26, 2021, the Feast of the Holy Family.

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Have you ever thought about how we can know the mind of God?

Now, of course, we can never completely know God’s mind. Let’s face it, we can’t completely know the mind of another human being, let alone God. And even if we make it to heaven and spend eternity with God … seeing Him face-to-face … we will never be able to plumb the depths of God’s mind.

But with that said, it’s reasonable for us to think that we can understand what God wants us to know about His will for us. Hence, we know something about the mind of God by what He says and does. In other words, we have an indication of what God thinks … by what He tells us … and what He makes happen.

Today, we are celebrating the Feast of the Holy Family. At first glance, this might not seem unusual or something which we should spend our time pondering.  After all, every one of us comes into existence by way of a family.

Family life is as natural as breathing. We don’t spend much time thinking about it unless we are having difficulties with it. As we all know, Christmas is about the coming of Christ into the natural order; it is clear that Jesus came to us in the context of a family.

If we stop to reflect on the matter, God must be telling us something very important if He comes to be with us by way of a family.

By doing so, He is revealing something of His mind.

What are some of the things that we come to understand when we contemplate the Holy Family? First of all, our Lord’s life in a family helps us to recognize God’s love for Man. We probably don’t spend much time reflecting on it but the incarnation is the most startling fact in all of history.

Christmas is one of the most joyous times of the year because of the gifts: the music, the lights, and the get-togethers. Yet, the idea that should just blow us away at Christmas time is that God–took–on–flesh.

When you look at all the religions in the world you see the different ways in which Man tries to connect himself to God. But in Christianity, we are the only ones to proclaim that it is God who connected Himself to Man.

Why would He do this?

If God is omnipotent, omniscient, and all Holy. Why would He marry His nature to ours which is frail and limited?

Why do such a thing?

The only answer that makes sense is that God must love us. As unbelievable as it may be, God’s taking on of flesh revels to us the intimacy that He wants to have with us.

In addition to what I have just said, the fact that our Lord came to us by way of a family reveals to us what God wants us to believe about family life in and of itself.

The fact that our Lord took on flesh didn’t necessitate that He had to do this within the context of a family.

Obviously, Mary was the vessel by which Jesus received His flesh. This pure and sinless creature was fitting to be the mother of God.

It is conceivable that Mary and Jesus could have lived together without the presence of a perceptible father figure. But the fact that God brought St. Joseph and Mary together to live as husband and wife reveals to us what God thinks about family life.

Throughout all of history when people look at the Holy Family they will forever see God’s idea of family: father, mother, children.

Granted, there are unfortunate circumstances that disrupt the ideal. There are cases, for example, when a spouse dies and the surviving spouse has to be both mother and father. Yes, things like this happen and I fully believe that God graces people in these situations to do the best they can.

But what the Holy Family teaches us is that the reality of family is not an abstract idea. In other words, we cannot define family any way we like.

In our modern-day culture, cockamamie beliefs and attitudes about family life are rapidly circumventing the world like a swarm of locusts. Governments around the world, including the United States of America, are falling like dominos, one after another, as they allow same-sex union and “marriage” as they call it.

It is quite common to hear people say, “It’s love that makes a family.”

What these people are saying, in essence, is that as long as you love one another nothing else really matters. And those who don’t know their right hand from their left respond to this twisted thinking in a favorable way.

It is not love that makes a family; it is God who makes a family.

Don’t forget; it is the family on earth … father, mother, and children … that is an image of the original family in heaven: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

What the Holy Family teaches us is that a certain order for family life has been ordained by God for us to follow. Our Lord didn’t come to earth by way of Mary who was single or living with a roommate. Jesus didn’t just show up one day like God did with Abraham in the desert and then take up residence with Joseph and one of his friends.

Our Blessed Lord could have made His presence known on earth and could have lived in any way that he liked. What he did was to come to us in the context of a family comprised of a married couple: one man and one woman.

And don’t forget … Jesus lived that way for 30 out of 33 years. That was 91% of His life on earth.

In doing so, God showed us what He thinks about family life and what He wants us to think about family life.

My dear friends, as we live in this world with people who easily yield to the scars of original sin, we are going to have to cope with those who promote evil ways as acceptable behavior such as same-sex unions.

Because you and I cling to what is holy, we are going to be ostracized, blackballed, and hated.

But never forget what St. John teaches us in his first letter when he says; The reason the world does not know or accept us is because it does not know and accept God.

Always remember that life with God is a family affair and we have to understand family as God has given it to us.

Therefore, let us remain firm in conforming our thinking according to the mind of God. Let’s take what we have learned and continue to learn from the Holy Family and profess to a chaotic and disordered world that in living family life as God has conceived it. We trust in His ways.

Never forget that we are the Church Militant. This title is not an accident. As Pope Leo XIII said,  “Christians are born for combat.”

With our baptism, we are called to fight, and with our confirmation, we are given the graces to fight.

So, be brave. Bold, and unrelenting as we bring the message of family life to a world that is in such desperate need of hearing it.