THE FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY
A major focus of Luke’s gospel is the holy city of Jerusalem and he wishes to show that this is so for Jesus even in his up-bringing by Mary and Joseph in the annual Passover pilgrimage. The return to Nazareth after the finding in the Temple continues the contrast of Jesus as an ordinary and extraordinary human being (Luke 2:41-52). Aspects of this are mirrored in the account of Hannah and Eli taking their child Samuel to the temple at Shilo and leaving him there for the Lord. (I Samuel 1:20-22.24-28). The extract from John emphasises that God’s love means that we are his children (1 John 3:1-2.21-24). The centrality of the family in all the rich variety of its manifestations, thread though with the love of God, is a strong force throughout the whole of the Scriptures.
The rule of Dei Verbum that the Scriptures need to be understood along with the tradition of the Church (DV 12) is the basis for the Church’s on-going teaching of the centrality of family life.
Canon Mervyn Tower