“The obedience of Christ in the daily routine of his hidden life was already inaugurating his work of restoring what the disobedience of Adam had destroyed.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #531)
This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. This feast always occurs on the Sunday within the Octave (eight days of celebration) of Christmas. It is an integral part of our Christmas celebration of the Incarnation. The Feast of the Holy Family shows that holiness does not have to be something dramatic. Most often, holiness is hidden. It is hidden in the day to day acts of obedience and love that make up family life.
Family life is one key place where God takes on flesh… where Incarnation happens. We just celebrated Jesus’ birth into the world. This was dramatic as all births are. It changed things. It made a visible difference in the world. Angels singing, shepherds running, the glory of the Lord appearing. “Glory to God in the highest.!”
Today’s feast has a different tone. Instead of “Glory to God in the highest,” it’s more like “Hey, stop hitting your brother.” It is not about drama, but about simplicity. It is not about the once in a lifetime birth experience, but the day to day grind of life. It is not about the intense attachments and emotions between a mother and her newborn baby, but about the ongoing growth of listening and obeying.
It is not only the dramatic events that make for holiness. God is as present in the day to day routines of life as he is at the times of radical awakening and conversion.
Today’s feast reminds us of the importance of living each day seeing God made manifest in every opportunity for love and obedience.