What the Holy Family shows us at Christmas
Christmas is for many of us, a time when families get together. We remember friends especially those who are no longer with us and those family and friends who live far away.
Sometimes this brings great joy as we catch up on news. Sometimes it's hard going and we need patience in tolerating familiar bad habits, coping with old hurts and negotiating unrealistic expectations.
Many will be glad when Christmas is over. Nevertheless, there is a deeper point to our family gathering. We instinctively recognise the importance of the bond of flesh and blood.
We know that, in a family, we irrevocably belong to each other, no matter the distances that may separate us, or the rows we have lived through. We still look to our family for recognition, acceptance and love even when that hope is unfulfilled.
So, when you see the crib this Christmas, don't see in it an image of a vanishing world of father, mother and child. See, rather, a reminder of the truth about our human nature and a source of new encouragement and determination for us all.
Extract from: The Daily Telegraph 23/12/07 by Cardinal Vincent Nichols