The Good News for Sunday, December 30,2018 Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (17) Annually, Jesus’ parents journeyed to Jerusalem at Passover. When He was twelve, they went up as usual. After they had finished their celebration days—as they were going home—the boy Jesus stayed back in Jerusalem—His parents unaware. Thinking that he was somewhere in the caravan, they traveled a whole day until they went looking for him among their relatives and acquaintances. Not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem looking for him. It took three days to find him—in the temple, sitting in the midst of teachers, listening to them and asking questions. Everybody who heard him were impressed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were surprised, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking so anxiously for you.” He said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know I have to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not get what he was saying to them. He did go down with them and came to Nazareth, and stayed obedient to them—His mother keeping all these things close to her heart. And Jesus made progress in wisdom and age and charm before God and man. (Luke 2) As usual in the Bible, Mary is you and me—the “typical” Christian coming to understand—growing in—human faith, the role of Jesus as Messiah and Child of God, and the life-time role of herself (yourself) to grow and keep growing along with the Jesus you love and whom you share Life with. The point—the Good News—here is growth all around. Everybody changes when healthy, God-inspired differences emerge between and among loving people. And it is progress—a mutual enrichment, a sharing of insight and perspective, a new way to see and therefore to live. The Bible implies in every one of their encounters how Mary keeps growing in her faith. It takes courage, humility and open-heartedness for this growth—in yourself, in your dealings and in your respect for others. These virtues are not perfect in any of us—but they are the very base of “grace,” the fertile soil in which the Seed of God grows to maturity. Your call here—and for any New Year’s resolution—is to see with these virtues all your brothers and sisters—to respect everyone as YOUR Holy Family, to welcome differences and so become ever more a Child of our One Father.