Each year, on the first Sunday after Christmas, the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of the Holy Family. In his 1974 Apostolic Exhortation, Marialis Cultus, Pope Paul VI wrote,
On the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (the Sunday within the octave of Christmas) the Church meditates with profound reverence upon the holy life led in the house at Nazareth by Jesus, the Son of God and Son of Man, Mary His Mother, and Joseph the just man (cf. Mt. 1:19).
In Catholic thought, the family is indispensable to the promotion of the conditions necessary for the flourishing of the human person. That is because it is in the family that we get our first revelation of our interconnectedness as humans, learning that we are, in the words of one commentator, “not born as isolated, autonomous monads, but rather as a precious part of a social unit.”
The Holy Family offers a model of family life lived in love, faith and fidelity to God’s will. Not all families today look like the Holy Family. But whatever “family” looks like for each of us, let our lives offer their same example of love, faith and fidelity.