Greetings as 2021 unfolds. Centennial Park is a short walk from 16 Roma Avenue and one of my favourite walking places especially in the hot weather where the canopy of aged trees provides a welcome cooling effect. On the Feast of the Holy Family as I walked around the park, I could not help but notice the presence of many families reflecting the ethnicity of Sydney's cosmopolitan society. Families were enjoying the company of each other whether having a picnic, teaching children to ride their Christmas gift bicycles, walking, etc. I reflected on my own family and how my mother had a great devotion to the Holy Family. Relating the Feast to community I could not help but think back to the Holy Family community of Brothers who resided at Oakhill and whose ministry of service touched the lives of many of us.
The various scripture readings offered in the lectionary for the Feast of the Holy Family focussed obviously on family but also on community. In the reading from Colossians for the day the words love, compassion, patience and forgiveness stand out. In his Angelus address for the Feast Pope Francis emphasized the importance in the family of prayer, affection, forgiveness, tenderness, and adherence to the will of God sound familiar? As we begin this year in our communities let us reflect on the powerful words from Colossians and Pope Francis.