Have You Had Enough of Your Family?


Have you had enough of your families yet?

All this quality time we get with our families over the holidays, it is all popped in there. Christmas and New Year’s Day. Sometimes the more time we spend with our family, we love them, but sometimes they can also sometimes be kind of difficult to live with, right?

They are difficult to be with for an extended period of time. There is something about family that can do that to us. I think it is especially because with our families we tend to let our guard down. We tend to be ourselves with them. Sometimes we let out the feelings or emotions that we might not let out with other people in public.

Father Jeremy and I were shopping yesterday. We were at Heinen’s Grocery Store. We probably saw about 40 parishioners. We realized people have to appear to be happy and friendly to each other all the time they are there. However, they may go home and behave differently. It is true with all of us.

I think that is one of the benefits of being a priest. I get to enjoy my family, and then when the day is over, I get to go home and be in the rectory with the priests. The other thing that is kind of a perk of being a priest, is that I don’t have to worry about what I’m going to wear in the morning. I go to the closet and it’s black every day. I don’t have to think about it. But in The Reading we hear today, The Second Reading from Paul, it talks about putting on not clothes but putting on these virtues.

“Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved.”  I want you to reflect on this. Think about the reality that we have a choice that we can pick out the disposition that we want to have throughout the day or the disposition or attitude we have with our family. Think about your families right now. “Put on God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another, as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you must do.”

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family.  Ultimately, Mary, Joseph, and Jesus show us what it is to be a “Holy Family”.  Sometimes, our families can be messy.  Sometimes people are carrying different things with which they are struggling.

I just want you to think about your family for a moment.  How have you been loving them?  Have you approached your family as if they are to be this image of the Holy Family?

If you haven’t been, maybe it is a good time to reconcile with someone in your family and to remind yourself, yes, you do have the opportunity, every day, with your parents, your spouse, with your siblings, with your children.

Every day you have the opportunity to decide what kind of disposition that you are going to put on. I invite us on this Feast of the Holy Family to put on that kindness, gentleness, and compassion with those we are called to love in our own family.

About the Author Fr. Michael Denk

Fr. Michael was ordained into priesthood in the Diocese of Cleveland on May 12, 2007. He is dedicated to helping others encounter Christ through the celebration of the Eucharist, preaching, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, spiritual direction, and prayer.

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I'm Father Michael J. Denk, a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. I am a contributor of content to The Prodigal Father Productions, Inc., a non-profit corporation functioning in accord with the traditions and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. The corporation and I are separate, it doesn't speak for me, the parish, or on behalf of the Diocese of Cleveland, and I do not speak for it.