Saturday, December 26, 2009


Today we celebrate a feast that may have lost significance because of it repetition and its nearness to the birth of the Christ child and New Year's Day. In this last year, fifty-one Sundays have passed us and our families. What were the top ten events in your life? Consider than for a moment. Is any one of those events related to your family? Let this feast be a signal for us to stop, look at and consider our families.

It is from our families that we receive our earliest education. Again I turn to my first grandnephew. There were more than a few who were trying to help this 9 month old wonder learn how to walk., teaching him balance and confidence. Hopefully those same "family teachers" will be there as he grows older to teach him how to respect others, how to know right from wrong, how to maintain religion in his life, how to have a sense of justice. Everyone one of us who are his cousins, his uncles, his aunts, his parents, grandparents, etc. etc. -- we, all of us, have a responsibility because Joey is now a part of our family, our clan. Family is a sacred bond that links us to a remarkable assembly of very different individuals.

As we draw closer to New Year's Eve and the efforts to select sensible and reasonable resolutions for the new year, look at your family first and foremost. Consider what you can do to repair wounds that might exist between siblings or other relatives? Consider what you might become for the teenager who is having a hard time adjusting to one of life's most challenging times of growing up. Consider the family members who have become the "seniors." Their lives become a new challenge every day as society and its way are passing by so swiftly.

There is nothing more rewarding, nothing more satisfying to know that you are a member of a family that strives to incorporate all the relatives into one unique collection of men, women and children who have a sacred bond that is summed up in four words: "This is my family!" And your pride in your family will only be equal to the amount of time and love you put into its success. Be a source of love, a source of joy, a cause of laughter to and for all of them. What will happen? Your life will be so much stronger. You will have so much satisfaction. And, assuredly, you will realize that you have an incredible source of strength should you ever need it.