Today, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family, which is a model and an example to all Catholic families. Mary was just an ordinary girl when she was called by God to be the mother of Jesus. Not from a rich or powerful family, but she became the most famous mother in the world. Joseph was just an ordinary man when he was called to be the foster-father of Jesus. A hard-working carpenter, he taught Jesus how to be a man. Jesus came into this world in the humblest of circumstances, being born in a stable. But his life changed the world, and gave us salvation.
Stewardship should be a key part of any family, and each member of the family, needs to play his or her part. Although mine was just an average family, I think we were good stewards of the gifts God gave us. My dad worked hard as a mailman, and provided for all the necessities of life for his family of 6. My mom was the nurturer, the care-giver. Mom was caring, compassionate, smart, and funny. She really got involved in our lives, our school-work, got to know our classmates, and opened up our home to others.
All 4 boys in our family were good students. My mom always helped us with our homework and made sure we understood our classes. We had our chores, mostly the outdoor variety (mowing grass, clipping hedge, shoveling snow). We cleaned our room occasionally, but mom wasn’t too picky. Ours wasn’t the neatest house on the block, but mom focused on more important things….. like talking and listening to her boys and loving them every day. She instilled a love of God and a devotion to our Catholic faith.
My brothers liked each other and enjoyed being part of the Cooper family. We didn’t hold grudges, and we were quick to forgive. We possessed most of the qualities that Paul encourages in today’s 2nd reading: “compassion, kindness, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another….”. Although my family was rather average, it was a holy family, and I thank God for the blessings that each of them has been for me.
Tony Cooper-Stewardship and Development