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My Family is Holy! Not perfect, but holy.

December 30th, 2012by Colleen Gerke

It is easy to dismiss one’s own family as holy amidst the reality of the daily mishaps.  Carelessness such as not picking up after one’s self, snapping an angry remark out of fatigue, fear, pride or jealously and just needing space that is not available due to tight quarters and young children.  But, going beyond these mishaps is what makes us holy.  I imagine that the Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph had their moments.  The scripture stories of Jesus being left behind in the temple after the Passover celebration (Luke 2:41-52) as well as Mary’s agony with her son’s crucifixion show us that the Holy Family was not beyond fear, fatigue and probable anger. 

Asking for forgiveness after leaving a messy trail of personal debris heals.  Reaching out and hugging a loved one who has lost their “cool” sends a binding message of love.  Quelling our pride and letting someone else take the credit and bask in glory.  These too are the stuff of holy families.  The Holy Family models for us the hope of God’s healing and eternal joy that comes from commitment and love.

My family is not the family I imagined the day I was married.  We are broken and love worn like the Velveteen Rabbit.  Being open to God’s work in our marriage, healing the hurts and being committed to each other even when we have messed up.  That is what makes us even better that my childish dream of the perfect family.  In our own small way, our family is brings love into this world, one love relationship at a time.  We are truly blessed!  We are holy!  I am celebrating the Feast of the Holy Family today in gratitude for the gift God has given me, a gift that is precious beyond words, my family.

Photo credit: C. Gerke, Used with Permission

Colleen Gerke

Colleen Gerke is the wife of Deacon John Gerke for over 30 years and has five young adult children and one grandchild. She is a Secular Franciscan and member of St. Clement Franciscan Parish in the Village of St. Bernard and the Director of the Family and Respect Life Office of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.