God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

27.12.2009 Feast of the Holy Family

How many families are destroyed through HIV and AIDS? How many families are broken because it did not work out any more? How many kids are growing up with one parent or even no one?
The feast of the Holy Family seems to be put onto this scenario the three persons Mary, Joseph and Jesus – most times found with halos and an ideal of family life. I am not so sure, so this morning, I tried to look at the Holy Family a bit differently to bring them closer to my audience. What did I see?

A girl getting pregnant before marriage – Father unknown. A baby boy in a stable – very unstable circumstances of birth. A son running away from his parents during a trip to Jerusalem, a young adult without a proper income, en route with some other runaways and some women, who, according to one gospel, support Jesus. I do see a Mum standing under the cross of her son, being sentenced as a normal criminal. And I am seeing a husband, who is disappearing during the family story without any further note..

Does that sound like a realistic family? Yeap, I do think so – and what makes this family holy is not all the unrealistic things attributed to them but that throughout the family history, Mary never lost hope; it is the message, that whatever happens to a family, one should never lose hope that things are coming right again at the end.

I am not sure how things are coming right again at the end when a family is broken up completely, or parents are lost at an early stage – human understanding cannot give any reasoning. But I belive that there is a bigger picture, which does not take away the pain and the suffering, but that brings together all the ends at the end. Somehow… Let’s hope.

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