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Holy Family Sunday

Non Serviam Today.

And God said to the woman: “I will multiply thy sorrows, and thy conceptions: in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children, and thou shall be subject to thy husband, and he shall have dominion over thee.” With the advent of sin came the need for reparation and that reparation is determined by God and it is called “subjection”. Eve shall be subject to Adam. Subjection is simply the fact that women shall follow the man. In a marriage this crucial spiritual reality is often missed. It is not missed in the Gospel which was read today. Jesus returns with Joseph and Mary and is subject to them.

It was once noted that our God always takes the medicine first and then encourages us to follow. Jesus enters our humanity and places Himself under His creatures. The divine subjects Himself to the human. Why? Recall that God gave the man and the woman complete control of their lives with the provision that they should eat of all the trees but the one which is the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If they would eat of that tree they would certainly die. Disobedience destroyed our true freedom and now subjection repairs the sin’s effects.

All sin has the consequence of “death” and sooner or later we will all join our deaths to that of our Lord. He made Himself subject to death for our sake. In a family we find the same reparation calls for the wife to subject herself to her husband, while the children must subject themselves to mom and dad. If this subjection is understood as an act of reparation then the home finds itself in union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus. When in the family this subjection is not understood then each one seeks to lord it over the other. Wives seek to lord it over the Husbands, children then seek to lord it over mom. Order has been destroyed and confusion reigns.

How to combat this modern day marital disease? The word of God and the example of the Son of God remains the same today, yesterday and tomorrow. Subject yourself to the proper order of the family with the father leading and the mother supporting his lead with the children recognizing God’s presence in their parents. Sanctify this family through silence and do as our Mother Mary did and “ponder all these words in your heart.” We must come to the contemplation of God’s love and wisdom in the very family which lives and loves one another because of God’s presence in each one.

The universal rule of life becomes apparent if one considers that marriage takes one from the transient affection of the first love to a crisis. In the crisis the pain produces the reality of the person whom the spouse married. That person is endowed with gifts from the Creator which are revealed only through suffering together. Now the transient affection dies and the perpetual love is born. All life is this way. One can never achieve a greater love without the death of the former love. Hence the essential Christmas act of humiliation draws us to the love of the Child Who is born to die.

On this feast of the Holy Family let us renew our own family life on the principle of subjection for the sake of reparation for the sins of disobedience which mark our life in so many different ways. Let us run to our Mother and beg her to help us repair for our “non serviams” with a recognition that everyone is much holier than ourselves. Let us follow the lead our the divine child who returned with Joseph and Mary and was subject to them.

In the hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

Fr. Voigt

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