The year was 1993. One of my cousins had recently gotten engaged and her dad told her and her fianc? that he had a proposal for them. He was willing to pay them $20,000 if they were willing to agree to have a small wedding that only included immediate family members. The offer came after the wedding invitation list had grown to more than 400 people. While the groom was interested in accepting the money, the bride put her foot down and insisted that they follow through with the traditional wedding they were planning.
When the topic came up for discussion at the supper table in my home, I made the following proposal to my three oldest children: When you’re old enough to get married, I’ll pay each of you $20,000 if you let me and your mom pick out your spouse. You can do anything you want with the money — go on a honeymoon, use it for a down payment on a house, put it in the bank. All you have to do to get the money is let us choose your spouse.
My 10-year-old daughter Anna immediately spoke up and said, “There’s no way you’re going to choose my husband. I don’t care how much money you offer me.” I responded by saying, “Why? Don’t you trust us?” She shot back, “No, not to pick my husband!”
I glanced over at my 12-year-old son Harry and I knew from prior experience what he was thinking. He was doing calculations in his head to figure out all the things he could buy if he accepted the $20,000. I looked at my 9-year-old daughter Maria and asked, “What about you Maria? Would you take the $20,000?” She had a serious look on her face and responded, “Give me $25,000 and you’ve got a deal.” (Maria obviously takes after the LaHood side of the family, all of whom are master negotiators and dealmakers.)
I often wonder what kind of conversations went on around the supper table of the holy family. Did St. Joseph tease his Son the same way I teased my children? What did they talk about? Did they laugh together as they talked about the events of the day?
Can you image how the food that was prepared by the hands of the mother of God tasted? Just thinking about it makes my mouth water — the smell, the color, the texture, the taste. I’m sure every bite of her food was a taste of Heaven.
How holy (and happy) is your family? Do you attend Mass together? Do you pray the family rosary together? Do you eat together? Do you laugh together? Do you plan fun things to do together? Do you practice heroic patience, angelic sweetness, and ardent charity when you interact with each other?
Our Lord chose to come to Earth the same way you and I got here. He was conceived in the womb of a woman. He was born into a family that consisted of a mother and a father. He could have simply appeared on Earth as an adult, but He chose to honor the sacred institution of the family.
Although we tend to focus most on His birth, death, and resurrection, we need to consider who and what prepared him for those three events. It was His family that prepared Him. How serious are you about creating a family life that will adequately prepare your children and grandchildren for the trials and tribulations they will face and the ultimate goal of entrance into Heaven?
These are some of the things we should be thinking about each time we celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of our Savior.