For thirty of his thirty-three years of earthly life, Jesus “was obedient to” his parents in Nazareth, as St Luke describes it in today’s Gospel passage. In other words, he lived the most normal, unglamorous life that can be imagined: he worked in a carpenter’s shop in a small town on the edge of the Roman Empire; he did chores, he studied his lessons, he went to the Synagogue on Saturdays, he played with his cousins, he helped his mother fetch the water… for thirty years; he did nothing miraculous or spectacular… for thirty years. Is he trying to tell us something? Of course, he is. Everything he did in his earthly life was for us, for our redemption and instruction. These thirty years of hidden life shows us that to be a Christian, to be a saint, begins with the faithful fulfillment of the normal responsibilities of life, and most especially with the normal duties of family life. To be truly great as a human being means first and foremost striving to be a faithful son, daughter, father, mother, aunt, uncle, or grandparent. Our family members are our closest neighbors, and the commandment Jesus gives us to “love our neighbors as ourselves” starts right there. On today’s celebration of the Holy Family, that’s what the Church wants to remind us of. God created us to be living images and messengers of his goodness – that’s the kind of person he wants each of us to be. And becoming that kind of person is where we will find true fulfillment. And to do that, we don’t need to win fancy awards and make millions of dollars. We just must make a decent effort to be faithful and Christ-like in the little things of life, starting at home.