Over the last several Sundays I have been connecting the readings beginning with Holy Family Sunday. St. Paul gave us advice on being a holy family: to put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forbearance, forgiveness, and over all these, love. (cf. Col 3:12-13). And so I encourage you to use your family to practice those virtues, to become the embodiment of those virtues. Then on Epiphany Sunday, the message was to reveal those virtues to the world through your life – to become the epiphany of Christ to others. The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord followed in which the prophet Isaiah’s word says that in our baptism we are formed as a covenant the people – a vow, a promise, a bond, a connection that binds us to the promise and the power of Christ on one side and to the world on the other.
And so with good intent and hopeful hearts we work away in our personal lives and in our families – to be the person, the family, the witnesses to heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forbearance, forgiveness, and over all these, love. We want those virtues in our lives and in our families, but have we been practicing them? Have been talking about them within the family. I suspect most of us pray about it, we work at it, we succeed, we fail, we start over… mostly silently. And think about it. If we are hesitant to speak about it within the safety of home, how likely are we to testify about it all in the company of others.? Continue reading