(I write brief tracts once every couple months for my parish's bulletin, for a section called "Spiritual Food". This one is running this weekend, for the Feast of the Holy Family.)
The Sunday during the Octave of Christmas – between Christmas and New Year's – is the Feast of the Holy Family. This feast day celebrates the Christ-child, his Blessed Mother, and her most chaste spouse.
The Holy Family is the ideal family, expressing true love and devotion to one another, but Scripture shows us that even they had hardships to endure, including an escape to Egypt, and Mary and Joseph leaving Jesus behind in Jerusalem. The model the Holy Family offers us is one that prays together, listens to one another, cares for one another, is patient with one another, and is attentive to God's will.
The readings for this day remind us of the values a family should strive for: honor, obedience, forgiveness, and love. Celebrate today with the Lord and his Holy Family, but celebrate it at home with your family as well, and grow together in holiness.