The Perspective of Justice

The Holy Family

The Holy Family of Mary, Joseph and Jesus is a symbol of what every family should be like. It is in a special way a sign of the unity of the human family.

Today’s liturgy tells of all the qualities which should characterize the human family: respect, care, kindness, forgiveness, love, peace, duty. It expresses, in terms of the culture of biblical times, the ideal of harmony and working together.

The boy Jesus disturbed his family’s internal harmony momentarily, but with good reason, for the sake of something higher. The internal harmony of today’s human family is also being disturbed, but for the sake of things baser: greed, the will to dominate, disregard for human dignity, pride, selfishness.

“Why have you done this to us?” This is the question that must be impressed upon all those who disturb the unity of the human family, the oppressors, racists and sexists, the hoarders of wealth, the polluters of the land, the abusers of children, the neglectors of the elderly, the instigators of war, the killers and rapists, the indifferent. And of course, in our day, ISIS. “Why have you done this to us?”

All of human life, whether individual or collective, shows itself to be a dramatic struggle between good and evil, between light and darkness. Indeed, man finds that by himself he is incapable of battling the assaults of evil successfully, so that everyone feels as though he is bound by chains. But the Lord himself came to free and strengthen man, renewing him inwardly and casting out that prince of this world who held him in the bondage of sin.

Vatican II, Constitution on the Church
in the Modern World 1965:13

Gerald Darring

**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson