Written by: Denise Serafini on Tuesday, March 21, 2017
As we were traveling I gave some thought to the Holy Family and their travels. Obviously the Holy Family is always depicted with St. Joseph, Mary and Jesus together and we generally think about them living out relatively simple lives in the little house in Nazareth. However, there was so much more to the reality of living out their role as the holiest of families and we only occasionally think of the Holy Family bound together in perilous circumstances and the consistency they must have applied in coming together in prayer to the Father and Holy Spirit for their safety and the fulfillment of their role here on earth.
Shortly after they had been joined in marriage, St. Joseph and Our Lady made the difficult trip into the hill country to the town of Judah to visit Zechariah and Elizabeth. St. Joseph allowed himself to be led by the Holy Spirit, maintaining his commitment to prayer to keep himself close to that spiritual essence that would guide him. Here was a man that simply abandoned himself to that Spirit to bring Our Lady with Jesus in her womb on an arduous journey, trusting in God that all would be OK. He did this again when he brought the Holy Family to the safety of Egypt shortly after Christ’s birth. He didn’t succumb to the concepts of worrying about how he was going to go into a land with which he had no familiarity or assurances that he would be able to sustain Our Lady and the Child Jesus along the way. He just trusted in the Spirit and continually prayed for guidance. Our Lady joined him in prayer and with her “yes” to the Father’s Will exemplified the same virtues, joining her prayers with his.
At this point you’re probably wondering where this is going. Well, we too are on a perilous journey, the journey of life. We have to consistently be mindful of the perils of sin and keeping ourselves aligned with the principles upon which the Holy Family lived out their daily life. Unlike the Holy Family, we have issues with running our lives according to our own dictates and not necessarily keeping ourselves in check to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. As the Holy Family did, we need to keep ourselves rooted in prayer to assure that we consistently choose the right path to fulfill our mission here on earth.
In our travels to the Holy Family parish I was reminded that we, particularly as an apostolate, have a commitment to the fellow members of our greater family in Christ to pray for them and with them as part of our program. As part of our routine, we spend considerable time in prayer (holy hours, the rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy), offering them up for all the attendees, their intentions and the specific petitions that have been submitted (See our Online Petitions page). We recognize that for all the props, relics and the program we present, the entire event would simply be a production rather than an opportunity for attendees to have a true encounter with Christ in His Passion were it not for maintaining our focus on significant prayer as the basis for bringing the relics to the faithful. It’s part of the greater circle of prayer that surrounds us all in the preparation, in the reading of and meditation on the content and in the personal encounter we experience during veneration of the relics. United in binding our prayers, along with the prayers and intentions of each individual attending our events, to the sufferings of Christ and His Mother in the Passion we are all family, part of the Holy Family of Christ.
We can be individuals, members of the Holy Family Parish, part of an apostolate or any other Christian group. Regardless, we are all members of Christ’s Holy Family. We have a shared responsibility to pray for one another and proceed through the perils of life with our “yes” to the Father and depending on the Holy Spirit for guidance in imitation of the Holy Family.
We also have the opportunity, as Our Lady did, to bind our prayers and sufferings in this life to Passion of Our Savior for our benefit and for the benefit of those for whom we pray. The greater circle of prayer leads to the greater circle of salvation.