The celebration of the Holy Family coincides, this year 2017, with the last of the year and with the last Sunday of the calendar year. A coincidence of great spiritual value, as it seems to tell us that all personal life starts from the family and ends in the family. And as a model of all Christian families there is the holy family, that of Bethlehem, in which Jesus, just born, begins his journey in the history of humanity and that of Nazareth, where the three extraordinary, unique and unrepeatable components they will transfer and stabilize and where the rest of their lives will live. Joseph of whom we do not know much for the rest of his life near Jesus, if not in the period of his birth and then of the discovery in the temple, at the age of 12; of Mary who participates in the life of Jesus and is present in various events of the missionary and evangelising Christ, but above all of the Christ dead on the cross and buried; of Jesus who was subjected to his parents during his childhood and with them he shared the days, the work, the sufferings and the joys and then with the beginning of the public ministry on the way in Palestine to bring to everyone the joy and hope of good news, until he dies, innocent, nailed to the cross, buried, risen and ascended to heaven. A family with different stories, but all directed and centered on the history of salvation.
The family of Abraham, a model of welcoming life, even in old age, is proposed, in the passage of today's second reading, taken from the letter to the Hebrews, also as a model of faith. A family on the way, in obedience to faith in God, because Abraham leaves everything, his land and leaves for the new destination that the Lord had indicated to him. A family that welcomes life, even when this seems no longer to be accepted and transmitted for love within true and legitimate marital relations. And finally, a family that of Abraham capable of heroic and courageous gestures to the point of sacrificing, in obedience to the voice of God, the son Isaac that the sky had given him. Behind these behaviours was faith and all the families of the world asked for faith to walk in harmony with the God who revealed himself to us through Jesus Christ.
Not by chance, the Gospel of this festival is that of Luke, who tells us about the presentation in the temple of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, in all respects, adheres to the law in force in the religious and civil field: Jesus is circumcised as all the first-born males of the Israelites. The meeting of the holy family with the old Simeon, a member of the sacred rite of circumcision, is a hymn to life, joy, hope and the true future of every human being who has the opportunity to have, ideally, in his arms the 'Almighty. Exactly what happens to Simeon, once he crosses the face of the savior and redeemer, from a few days he came into the world: "Now you can leave, O Lord, let your servant go in peace, according to your word, because my eyes they have seen your salvation, prepared by you before all peoples: light to reveal you to the peoples and glory of your people, Israel ".
This happiness of the elderly priest who officiated in the temple made Joseph and Mary be amazed. In fact, the father and mother of Jesus were amazed at the things that were said about him? And this point? Simeon blessed them and Mary, his mother, said: "Behold, he is here for the fall and resurrection of many in Israel and as a sign of contradiction - and also a sword to pierce your soul - so that the thoughts of many hearts are revealed ". The suffering that characterises the life of Jesus and of the Family of Nazareth as a whole is announced here. Suffering that will touch in particular the Virgin Mother who will be pierced by a sword, clear reference to the death on the cross of Jesus.