The primary purpose of this feast is to present the Holy Family as a model for Christian families.

Today’s reading leads us back to Abraham, but what has Abraham to do with the Feast of Holy Family?  Genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1:1-16 will bring us to a deeper understanding of the ancestral link from Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob, to David, and finally to Jesus.

God made this covenant with Abram through a “spiritual conversation” with him. Before God made His covenant with Abraham, his name was Abram who worshipped a pagan god Nanna, the moon god in ziggurat of Ur, the place where Abram was born.

Abraham, father of faith.  When God commands, Abraham obeyed without any questions, he submitted to God in obedience.  The great affliction that fell upon Abram was that he was childless.  His faith counted for his righteousness. The Lord considered Sarah in mercy and Isaac was born at the set time God had spoken off. God is always keeps his promised mercies.   

God’s threefold promise to Abram: (1) Great Nation (Gen 15:5) “Then taking him outside he said, ‘Look up to heaven and count the stars if you can. Such will be your descendants’ he told him.”; (2) Great Name that is associated with kingship (King David) (Gen 17:16) I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.” and (3) in you all families of the earth will Bless themselves (Gen 22:17-18) I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed because you have obeyed me.”

According to the law, purification which applies only to the mother as she is considered unclean for forty days following the birth of a son (Leviticus 12:1-5).   Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Jesus to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord.  Jesus though had no impurity to be cleansed from; and yet he submitted to it (Col 2:11). So in the purification of Jesus we might be spiritually purified from the filthiness and corruption of the world into which we were brought forth.

Parallel to the first reading and second reading, when the eight day came, Mary and Joseph presented Jesus at the temple for the circumcision according to the law of Moses (Leviticus 12:3), for us by submitting to it which is to show with his early obedience (Gal 5:3).  At the time when Jesus was also presented at the temple, the high priest Simeon and Anna the prophetess honourable testimony was an encouragement to the parents.  Simeon came as directed by the Spirit and acknowledged that God had been as good as his word. Simeon is promised that he should not see death until he had seen the Lord’s Christ (Luke 2:26).  Redemption was the thing wanted; waited for; wished for; and the redemption in Jerusalem from their Messiah.

On the account of Abraham loves for the Lord, here is an abstract of Poem by Fr. Kilian McDonnell, OSB, The Call of Abraham.  “You give commands: pull up my tent, desert my home, the graves of my ancestors, my friends next door, leave Haran for a country you do not name, there to be a stranger, a sojourner. You come late, Lord, very late, but my camels leave in the morning.” Father Abraham’s TOTAL OBEDIENCE.