It has been said that families exhibit characteristics of the Church because parents are individually called by God to play a special role in forming and sustaining the micro-church of the family.
As we look at the example of the Holy Family we can see at least two characteristics we are all called to embrace and exhibit: obedience and love of God.
Joseph and Mary were obedient to the Jewish Law by going every year to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover. This was a long journey by foot from Nazareth. It’s clear that Joseph and Mary loved God and honoured him by being obedient to his Laws. And in their obedience to God, they set the example for Jesus.
The home of the Holy Family clearly was a place where there was a deep love of God; it was a place where God’s words and the things of God were discussed and honoured. This is suggested by Jesus being found in the temple asking questions of the teachers. Mary and Joseph had evidently taught him well; their example of love and obedience paved the way for Jesus to be open to all his heavenly Father would teach him.
Our families today, and the Church, can profit by studying and following the example set by the Holy Family. So, let us reflect on the love and obedience shown by the Holy Family and endeavour to follow their example. Even if we don’t always understand, we can ask God for the grace to love him and to be obedient to him.