This traditional catholic homily illustrates the holiness of Catholic home life. It uses the comparison of a Priest’s duty at the altar with the duty of the parents to show the sacredness and the seriousness of the obligation that spouses have to each other and their children. An appropriate Homily for the Feast of the Holy Family.
*The Catholic Home. (Click on Here to Listen to Sermon)
Jesus went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them. . . . And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age, and grace with God and men. —Luke 2:52
In these few words, my brethren, the sacred writer raises the veil that conceals the mysteries of our Lord’s hidden life, and gives us an insight into the domestic concerns of the Holy Family at Nazareth. Jesus lived with Mary and Joseph. He was obedient and subject to them, and so he advanced in age and wisdom and grace with God and men. The door of the holy house is opened to us, but only for a moment, so that we might get a glimpse of the domestic life of a model family. Joseph, the father, day by day works at his trade to support the family. He rises in the morning ; gives his soul to God in prayer. He toils through the day. He comes home at night to enjoy his rest in the company of Jesus and Mary. He meets with trials, but he is patient; he is tempted, but he sins not; he leads a busy life, but he still finds time to pray. Mary, the mother, tends the household duties, with care and precision, and by her sweet, kind ways diffuses an air of peace and contentment throughout the home. Jesus, the child, is affectionate and submissive to his parents in everything. Here is the model of a true Christian home. Its ground work is the love of God; it is surrounded by an atmosphere of virtue, and to its members it is the holiest and dearest spot on earth. Such should our homes be.
The true Christian home is to society what the sanctuary is to the church of God. The parents are the priests in this sanctuary. It was God who ordained them priests when they stood before the altar with clasped hands and promised that they would be faithful to each other while life lasts. The Blessed Sacrament of this sanctuary is the Sacrament of Matrimony. It is the great treasure-house of supernatural strength to the married couple. The perpetual presence of our Lord in this sanctuary is by his grace, which is never wanting. The altar in this sanctuary is the hearthstone around which the family gathers. The communion-rail in this sanctuary is the family table, from which are dispensed the necessities of life.
There is about the sanctuary in the church of God an atmosphere of piety and reverence. It has a sanctity that no stranger dare violate; it has a privacy which no one but he who has a right dare invade. Such an atmosphere should be about the sanctuary of home. A priest would never allow a heretic or an infidel to sit in the sanctuary of God. He would never allow a corrupt man to stand on the altar of God. Take care, then, Christian parents, how you violate the sanctity of your homes. Take care what heretical or infidel books you allow to pass the gate of that sanctuary. Take care what bad newspapers you allow within its sacred precincts. Take care of the persons whom you allow to stand around your family altar. *Take care of the Movies and entertainments your family watches, that they respect God, his Holy Name, his Church and that they do not destroy the innocence of your children. It is one thing, you-know, to be obliged to meet a man in everyday life; it is a far different thing to invite him to your home, and permit him to violate its sanctity.
It is the duty of a priest on the altar of God, by his good example, to edify his flock; to stand at all times before his people a bright, shining light of Christian virtues. So, too, it is your duty, priests at the family altar, to be a model of all virtues to your children, so that they might learn from you what it is to be a Christian. Would it not be horrible for a man to come in on the altar and utter repeated curses? Would it not be fearful to see him stagger up to the altar of God in the state of intoxication? It happened once while Mass was going on, during the Elevation, while all heads were bowed in humble adoration, a drunken man rushed into the church, and in a loud voice uttered a horrible oath. It made the hearts of the good Catholic people stand still, and their blood ran cold in their veins. Is it any the less horrible for a father to come home intoxicated to the household sanctuary, or a mother, when anything goes wrong in the house, to give vent to her wrath in harsh language and sometimes even cursing?
See to it, then, dear parents ; make your homes holy places—real sanctuaries, where you can do your duty as priests of our All-Holy God. Keep from them all evil influences, so that they might be places where even the Child Jesus would not be ashamed to dwell.
An Excerpt From :
*Renamed from The Christian Home to The Catholic Home
*Sentenced added by AABooks
Priests of the Congregation of St. Paul. Five Minute Sermons for Low Masses on All Sundays of the Year. Vol. 2. [S.l.]: Catholic Publication Society, 1886. Print. starts pg 67-69