Prepare for Sunday Mass: Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Each week in OSV Newsweekly, Carl Olson provides a thoughtful, relevant reflection on the Mass readings for Sunday in his "Opening the Word" column. The following is just an excerpt, but you can read the entire column here.

From Carl Olson:

The family today, in many ways, is under scrutiny and even under attack. Some of the questions are about the very nature of this most ancient and central institution: What is a “family”? What is necessary for a family to exist? For what purpose do families exist?

Just over a year ago, Pope Benedict XVI gave a Christmas address to the Roman Curia that focused on the family. He noted that “there is no denying the crisis that threatens it to its foundations — especially in the western world.” The family is important, he explained, because within the family exists “the authentic setting in which to hand on the blueprint of human existence. This is something we learn by living it with others and suffering it with others.”

He then said something that is worth pondering on this feast of the Holy Family:

“So it became clear that the question of the family is not just about a particular social construct, but about man himself — about what he is and what it takes to be authentically human.”

Read Olson's entire column to prepare for Sunday Mass.

Jennifer Rey is the web editor of Our Sunday Visitor Publishing.