How did you and your relatives get along this Christmas? If you were a little relieved to get back to your own house and your own bed, it might be instructive to consider on this Feast of the Holy Family that no family in first-century Palestine lived on their own in a separate dwelling. For purposes of safety and resources and tribal connections, everyone lived in multi-generational family homes.
Um-hmm. So, there was no happy waving from the car as families took their leave until getting together again during summer vacation. After festive dinners everyone retreated―well, nowhere. There was no place to go, and those who had the least private space were considered the most blessed, because that meant they had the most family members.
It seems to me that kids today grow up supporting and encouraging each other instead of competing for mom and dad’s limited attention. The teenagers I know are proud of their siblings and consider them their best friends. A friend of mine says she can’t figure out why her kids love spending so much time together. At their ages, she and her sister had stopped speaking, and all the years haven’t changed that.
I was recently with a 23-year-old brother whose 25-year-old sister had just had her first baby. He couldn’t stop showing me pictures on his phone. At least half of the pictures are of the new baby with her adoring young uncles and aunts, who have loved their sister passionately all their lives, and now are thrilled to love their new niece within an inch of her life.
There are holy families all around us. It’s never too late to have one yourself.
How will you consciously act to forge stronger bonds with your family?
Kathy McGovern ©2017