St. Peter's Square
Sunday, December 29, 2019
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
And really, today is a beautiful day ... Today we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth. The term "holy" places this family in the context of holiness which is a gift of God but, at the same time, it is free and responsible adherence to the plan of God. So it was for the family of Nazareth: it was totally available to the will of God.
How not to be amazed, for example, by Mary's docility to the action of the Holy Spirit who asks her to become the mother of the Messiah? Because Maria, like every young woman of her time, was about to concretize her life project, that is to marry Joseph. But when she realizes that God calls her to a particular mission, she does not hesitate to proclaim her "servant" (cf. Lk 1:38). Jesus will exalt her greatness not so much for her role as a mother, but for her obedience to God. Jesus said: "Blessed are those who listen to the word of God and keep it!" (Lk 11:28), like Mary . And when she does not fully understand the events that involve her, Mary silently meditates, reflects and loves the divine initiative. His presence at the foot of the cross consecrates this total availability.
Then, as regards Joseph, the Gospel does not bring us a single word: he does not speak, but acts by obeying. He is the man of silence, the man of obedience. Today's Gospel page (cf Mt 2: 13-15.19-23) recalls this obedience of the just Joseph three times, referring to the flight to Egypt and the return to the land of Israel. Under the guidance of God, represented by the Angel, Joseph removes his family from Herod's threats, and saves her. The Holy Family thus solidarizes with all the families of the world forced into exile, solidarity with all those who are forced to abandon their land because of repression, violence, war.
Finally, the third person of the Holy Family, Jesus. He is the will of the Father: in him, says Saint Paul, there was no "yes" and "no", but only "yes" (cf. 2 Cor 1:19) . And this has manifested itself in many moments of his earthly life. For example, the episode in the temple when, to the parents who were looking for him anxiously, he replied: "Did you not know that I must deal with the things of my Father?" (Lk 2,49); his continual repeating: "My food is to do the will of the One who sent me" (Jn 4:34); his prayer in the garden of olives: "My Father, if this cup cannot pass away without me drinking it, your will be done" (Mt 26,42). All these events are the perfect realization of the same words of the Christ who says: «You did not want sacrifice or offer [...]. Then I said: "Behold, I come [...] to do, O God, your will" "(Heb 10: 5-7; Ps 40: 7-9).
Mary, Joseph, Jesus: the Holy Family of Nazareth which represents a choral response to the Father's will: the three members of this family help each other to discover the plan of God. They prayed, worked, communicated. And I wonder: do you, in your family, know how to communicate or are you like those guys at the table, each with a cell phone, while they are chatting? In that table there seems to be silence as if they were at Mass ... But they don't communicate with each other. We must resume dialogue in the family: fathers, parents, children, grandparents and siblings must communicate with each other ... This is a task to do today, right on the day of the Holy Family. The Holy Family can be the model of our families, so that parents and children support each other in adhering to the Gospel, the foundation of the holiness of the family.
We entrust to Mary "Queen of the family", all the families of the world, especially those experienced by suffering or unease, and we invoke her maternal protection on them.
After the Angelus
Dear brothers and sisters,
we pray to the Lord for the victims of yesterday's horrible terrorist attack in Mogadishu, Somalia, where more than 70 people were killed in the explosion of a car bomb. I am close to all family members and those who mourn their disappearance. Let's pray together: Ave Maria, ...
I then greet all the Romans, pilgrims, parish groups, associations and young people. Today I address a special greeting to the families present here and to those who participate from home through television and radio. The family is a precious treasure: you must always support it, protect it: go on!
I then greet the students of Forlì, the boys of the Confirmation of Adrara San Martino, of Calcinate and the adolescent group of the Parish of San Giuliano, in Albino, Bergamo.
I greet everyone, and I wish you all a good Sunday and a peaceful end of the year. Let's end the year in peace, peace of heart: I wish you this. And in the family, communicating with each other. I thank you again for your good wishes and prayers. Please continue to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye.
FULL TEXT + Image Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation