It happened again. Another airplane disappeared near the same area where Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 last sent a message. Immediately, flashbacks came back to many of us, especially relatives still wondering what happened to their loved ones on flight 370. However, this case is a bit different. The weather in the area was extremely bad and according to news reports, the AirAsia pilot requested a change in coordinates and was denied that request.
The plane is believed to have been a victim of the weather which would make even the largest of airliner jets stall or become damage with lightning and heavy winds or even hail. The days that followed brought about massive searches. Luckily, it seems debris floating on the Java sea are of the flight. Sonar images also have shown large masses under the water which is very shallow. Unfortunately, among the debris found were also human bodies. The worst was confirmed: no one survived. It is believed that the pilot attempted to land the plane on the surface of the sea as in the case of the “Miracle on the Hudson” where US Airways Flight 1549 was struck by a flock of Canadian geese and lose engine power forcing the pilot to land it safely on the Hudson. However, the AirAsia flight was not so fortunately as it is believed that the plane went down so hard that it broke apart.
Relatives have been suffering this great lose of life. I cannot imagine the pain these people are going through. Moreover, I cannot imagine the fear and horror the passengers on the flight felt as their plane was crashing. Let us pray for all those involved.
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family – Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The family is the basic unit of society. It is no wonder why God chose to use it in His plan for the redemption of all men, women and children.
Joseph is often labeled “the forgotten saint.” This is unfortunate because he is the patron saint of the Church, and rightfully so. Just as he protected Christ, he protects Christ’s mystical body the Catholic Church.
Joseph was a carpenter by trade and taught Jesus carpentry. At first, Joseph was concerned that Mary had an affair due to her pregnancy. He wanted to secretly dissolve their union. If it wasn’t for an angel appearing to him in his dreams, he would have carried through with that plan. This showed that he was a righteous man (Matthew 1: 19-24) in that he did not want Mary to face any harsh punishment as Jewish laws called for at the time.
Mary as we know, was a virgin prior to bearing Jesus and remained a virgin afterwards. She was preserved from original sin making her the Immaculate Conception. Mary followed Jesus all throughout His years on Earth. She would be assumed into heaven and prior to this would also help spread the good news of her Son. Mary is the only human being to be free from sin. She is the model of what every human person must aspire to become – holy. Mary is given special veneration because of this which is called hyperdulia.
Jesus is the Son of God and the second person of the Blessed Trinity. God the Son took on flesh and became a human in all things except sin (Hebrews 4:15). As a child, Jesus was obedient to His parents. However, He always put His Father in heaven first. We see this in the account of Jesus in the temple. (Luke 2:41-52) Jesus wanders off from His parent’s sight and enters the temple. In the temple, He begins speaking to the teachers, asking questions and answering questions as well. The teachers and others were surprised at His knowledge and ability to speak as a teacher Himself (Luke 2:41-52).
Mary and Joseph found Him there and were upset that He wandered off. Jesus simply replied that He was doing His Father’s business and asked why did they search for Him as if they were supposed to know what He would be up to. I recommend reading the Holy Father’s Pope Benedict the XVI’s new book, Jesus of Nazareth – the Infancy Narratives (ISBN: 978038534605. The Pope goes more in deal in his scholarly style. It is very informative if you want to know more about Jesus’ boyhood.
This feast day not only highlights the Holy Family, but reminds us what a family should be. In today’s world where the family is under attack by those who wish to create it in their image; we must look at the Holy Family and renew family life. Mothers should imitate Mary, Fathers should imitate Joseph. Children should imitate Jesus who despite being God was always obedient to His parents. What an image is that right? The Creator obedient to the created.
O God, who were pleased to give us the shining example of the Holy Family, graciously grant that we may imitate them in practicing the virtues of family life and in the bonds of charity, and so, in the joy of your house, delight one day in eternal rewards. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.