The “Holy Family,” Normal?

HolyFamilyIf I hear once more what a “normal” family is, I think I’ll….well, who knows.
The June Cleavers and Donna Reeds make for good television but are lousy at real life stuff. The buzz word opposite normal was “dysfunctional” as though that described only your family. All other families were “functional.” How unlucky for you.
Thinking about real life families, consider the biblical characters during the Christmas season.

A crazy cousin who dresses weird and eats the same way.
A pregnant unwed young girl who has no viable skills outside the home but looks good in blue.
A silent-type husband-to-be who wants to get rid of the pregnant-blue young girl and move on.
An old married lady who discovers she’s with child and, if that’s not enough, the kid keeps “leaping” in her womb; presumably with “joy.”
Angles coming and going and making grand announcements that no one understands but always prefaces them with “Do not be afraid,” as though that helps with this flying thing in front of your face.
An mute uncle who has lots to say but is unable to say them.
A government official that wants you dead before you’ve even born.
An old lady who prays all day and promises she’ll die once you’re born.

Your 12 year old refuses to leave church because he needs to “about my Father’s business.”
Your 30 year old son doesn’t listen to you and serves the best wine last setting back the family’s finances.

Now picture these people around a Christmas dinner table, carrying on, sharing opinions, thoughts and words (except mute uncle.)

That’s the wonder of the Christmas season and beyond. The awe of the season is what each person contributes to the story. To leave out any of these characters is to miss an important element of the dramatic story of God breaking into history. All accomplished through these super-not-normal people.  Happy Dysfunction; no I mean, Merry Christmas.

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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