We could well ask: why didn’t Jesus just stay behind as he was? Just think: if he hadn’t ascended into heaven and was still in the world in the same way, he could have had Facebook and Twitter; he could upload the latest videos of himself to YouTube; we could even Skype him! And yet, God, who could foresee all these eventualities, had a different plan.
Today’s readings are in invitation to trust in the providence of God. We could say that to trust in divine providence is trust in the right things. Because it’s clearly possibly that we might put our faith and trust in lesser things, in things other than God.
Today’s Gospel pokes at a reality that is lurking never very far away in our lives. How easily our hearts can become full of petty jealousies, hatred and spite. But Jesus makes his demand on his disciples even more challenging: no retribution at all! The standard Jesus sets involves turning the other cheek, going the extra mile, even loving one’s enemies.
The baptism of Jesus – together with his epiphany – marks the beginning of his appearing to the world. Similarly, our baptism is the beginning of our life with God, the moment when we are adopted as God’s sons and daughters.
The most fundamental building block of the Church is not the parish or the diocese, but the family. The health of families is therefore one of the key concerns of the mission of the Church. So what preparation is there for the formation of Christian families? Today’s feast gives an answer. In the Holy Family of Nazareth we see a sign of what Christian families are meant to be.