The Holy Family is the Model for all Christian Families

This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. This family is the model family for all the Christian families in the world. I like to give three stories which will tell how our families should live their Christian lives.

A little boy greets his father as he returns from work with a question: "Daddy, how much do you make an hour?" The father is surprised and says, "Look, son, not even your mother knows. Don't bother me now, I'm tired." "But Daddy, just tell me please! How much do you make an hour?" the boy insists. The father finally gives up and replies, "Twenty dollars." "Okay, Daddy," the boy continues, "Could you loan me ten dollars?" The father yells at him, "So that was the reason you asked how much I earn, right? Now, go to sleep and don't bother me anymore!"

That night the father thinks over what he said and starts feeling guilty; maybe his son needed to buy something. Finally, he goes to his son's room. "Are you asleep, son?" asks the father. "No, Daddy. Why?" replies the boy. "Here's the money you asked for earlier," the father says. "Thanks, Daddy!" replies the boy and receives the money. The he reaches under his pillow and brings out some more money. "Now I have enough! Now I have twenty dollars!" says the boy to his father, "Daddy, could you sell me one hour of your time?"

Today's readings have a message for this man and for all of us, and the message is that we need to invest more of our time in our family life.

St. Therese of Lisieux and St. Teresa of Avila have their own stories about the influence their fathers had on their lives. The Little Flower used to ask an innocent question to her first-grade classmates: "Have you ever seen a saint praying?" She would add: "If you haven't, come to my house in the evening. You will see my dad on his knees in his room with outstretched arms, praying for us, his children, every day." She states in one of her letters from the convent: "I have never seen or heard or experienced anything displeasing to Jesus in my family."

St. Teresa of Avila was admitted against her will, by her father, to a boarding house conducted by nuns, in the final year of her high school studies, as soon as he detected bad books and yellow magazines hidden in her box. They were supplied by her spoiled friend and classmate, Beatrice. St. Teresa later wrote as the Mother Superior: "But for that daring and timely action of my father, I would have ended up in the streets, as a notorious woman." The feast of the Holy Family challenges Christian fathers to be role models to their children.

Wishing you all a Happy Feast of the Holy Family.

In the Service of the Lord,
Father Thainese Alphonse


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St. Bernadette Catholic Church