Daily Reflection – Dec 30, 2018
Sunday 30 December 2018
First Reading: SIR 3:2-6, 12-14
Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.
PS 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
Second Reading: COL 3:12-21
Gospel Reading: LK 2:41-52
Today’s Note: Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast
and when he was twelve years old,
they went up according to festival custom.
After they had completed its days, as they were returning,
the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem,
but his parents did not know it.
Thinking that he was in the caravan,
they journeyed for a day
and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances,
but not finding him,
they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.
After three days they found him in the temple,
sitting in the midst of the teachers,
listening to them and asking them questions,
and all who heard him were astounded
at his understanding and his answers.
When his parents saw him,
they were astonished,
and his mother said to him,
“Son, why have you done this to us?
Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”
And he said to them,
“Why were you looking for me?
Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
But they did not understand what he said to them.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth,
and was obedient to them;
and his mother kept all these things in her heart.
And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor
before God and man.
The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph (Feast)
Take care of your father when he is old. (Sirach 3:12)
Many of us are already living out Sirach’s exhortation. In fact, statistics show that in many developed countries, 20 percent of the population is caring for ill, disabled, or aged family members. And they are spending an average of 20 hours per week doing it.
We read this passage from Sirach on the feast of the Holy Family because it speaks to all of our families in a surprising way. It tells us that caring for an elderly family member brings unexpected blessings: forgiveness of sins, spiritual treasures, joy, answered prayers, even long life. Yes, it can be a burden at times, but the blessings far outweigh the burden.
Taking care of our parents does a lot for us spiritually. We see God’s self-giving love growing in us. As we walk with them in their later years, we find that we are also walking closer to the Lord. Our perspective on what’s important shifts, and we, too, begin thinking more about our heavenly home.
Blessing might not be the first thing you think of though. The idea of being a caregiver can be scary. Financial concerns, emotional strain, and burnout are real issues. You might struggle to find time to recharge yourself, or have trouble avoiding sibling resentments.
But the same study referred to previously also shows that more than 80 percent of caregivers report that the experience is rewarding. They feel satisfaction from giving back to someone who sacrificed for them, they know they’re providing quality care, and they feel increased meaning and purpose in life.
If you are currently caring for an elderly loved one, take heart! God is pleased by your efforts and is pouring out grace on you. If you are on the receiving end, know that you are a blessing to your loved ones. If you anticipate a time when you will need to do more for your parents, don’t worry. Everything you do to honor and care for them will bless you.
“Lord, help me to honor and love my family.”