“The family is a precious treasure: we must always support and protect it,” the pope said.
The Holy Family was “totally available to God’s will,” he said, providing an example of obedience and openness for families today.
The pope pointed to Mary’s obedience to God at times when she did not fully understand God’s plans for her.
“Mary silently meditates, reflects and worships the divine initiative. Her presence at the foot of the cross consecrates this total availability,” the pope said.
“As for Joseph, the Gospel does not bring us a single word: he does not speak, but acts by obeying,” Francis added.
An example of this was Joseph’s trust in God’s will as he fled with his family to Egypt.
“Under the guidance of God, represented by the Angel, Joseph removes his family from the threats of Herod,” he said. “The Holy Family is thus in solidarity with all the families of the world forced into exile, solidarity with all those who are forced to abandon their land because of repression, violence, war.”
Pope Francis asked for prayers for the victims of a car bomb in Mogadishu, Somalia that killed over 70 people Dec. 28, and expressed his closeness to all family members mourning their loss.
“Let us entrust to Mary, ‘Queen of the family,’ all the families of the world, especially those experiencing suffering or unease, and we invoke her maternal protection on them,” Pope Francis said.
Courtney Mares is a Rome Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. A graduate of Harvard University, she has reported from news bureaus on three continents and was awarded the Gardner Fellowship for her work with North Korean refugees.
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