December 28, 2014
Feast of The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
This is a Sunday mass that has several options for the each of the readings, Responsorial Psalm, Gospel Acclamation, and Gospel lengths. The version or length could vary grately from parish to parish, but the central message of this week’s liturgy of the word remains the same. This Sunday we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family.
Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14 Or Genesis 15:1-6; 21:1-3
This week’s first reading from the book of Sirach takes place late in the old testament, and it’s focus is on morality. The exile that has been such a large part of the readings we have read this year, has long ago passed, and here we see a very straightforward message about family life.
Our parents are gifts from God, and require our respect and love. In our world, there are many situations where birth parents may not be around for various reasons. As we look to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we see hope in our imperfect families, and we know that love can heal all wombs and encourage us through the challenges of this life.
Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
R/ (cf. 1) Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.
R/ (7a , 8a) The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
This Sunday’s second reading from St Paul’s letter to the Colossians is a message full of hope. Families are the base of all society, and they are often the source of our personal stability. Even still, families can also be a great source of stress and and tension in our lives. Our times have seen a world being deeply hurt by the increasingness brokenness in our families, and this reading points the heart of our relationship with our families.
Christ must be center of our unity and “let the peace of Christ control your hearts.” Having Jesus in our home centers our hearts on His peace that is not achievable on our own ability. It doesn’t necessarily make it easier all the time, but it give us the grace to love our families as He desires.
Alleluia COL 3:15A, 16A
- Alleluia, alleluia.
Let the peace of Christ control your hearts;
let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.
This week’s Gospel from St. Luke gives us some insight into the Jewish customs for a newborn child. Every year we hear the story of Simeon’s encounter with the Holy Family, and he shares prophetic words for the future suffering of Jesus and Mary. They also run into the older prophetess Anna. Both signs of the long anticipation for the Christ.
It is easy to look at the Holy Family and consider them unrelatable because of who they are, but the Lord is showing us that none of us our exempt from trials and tribulations in our families, not even the Holy Family. Christmas can be a blessed time for families, and it can be a trying time as well. Let’s find hope in the Lord for thanksgiving for the good and strength for the struggles.
Gospel Meditation from Bishop Vásquez
Mary and Joseph ensured that they followed all of the religious observances after Jesus’ birth. Have your children or younger family members followed through on receiving all of their sacraments? Try inviting them back, if they have not.