How many of us have broken our New Year resolutions before the end of January? How many of us don’t even make one because we distrust our staying power? I can put up my hand for both!
I have sometimes wondered why, in the Roman catholic church, we celebrate the Holy Family on the first Sunday after Christmas and the connection between the two has just dawned on me: unconditional love! Love is the heart of these two feastdays.
Christmas is the celebration of unconditional love. The Gospel tells us that God so loved the world that he sent Jesus. The family is where most of us – sadly not all – first experience unconditional love. It does not matter what kind of family: single-parent, blended, nuclear, rich, poor, mixed- race, mixed-culture, first-world, developing countries. The family is the school of unconditional love: we experience it, we absorb it and learn how to practise it. There we learn that love is ‘for better, for worse’!
My new year resolution is to allow myself to experience the unconditional love of God for me and to try to love those around me unconditionally.