As we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family, my thoughts turn to the state of families today. So many bemoan the collapse of the "traditional" family. I must say that I am not one of them. Just what is a "traditional" family anyway? And exactly which configuration of family cannot look to the Holy Family and find themselves?
Unmarried and pregnant? Check. Newly married and struggling? Check. Living far away from family and friends? Check. Step-parent? Check. Parents raising child(ren)? Check. Widowed? Check. Single parent left to finish raising child? Check. Empty-nester? Check. Single young adult living from hand to mouth? Parent despairing over "lifestyle" choice of child? Check. Adult child responsible for parent(s)? Check. Grieving parent of a deceased child? Check. Alone in the world and have to depend on others to survive? Check.
The one thing that I believe we can all take from the Holy Family's example is that, no matter our circumstance or state in life, if we always try to do the will of God, we will be OK. If you find yourself in changing circumstances, ask yourself "What does God want me to do?" It may not be the easiest thing, but I guarantee you it will always be the right thing. And ask Joseph, Mary and Jesus to help you. And they will ask the Father to give you the grace you need, just as they received it. After all, because of Jesus, by virtue of our Baptism, we too are part of the Holy Family!