Saturday, December 29, 2007
FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY
FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY
SIRACH 3:3-7, 14-17
He who honors his father atones for sins; he stores up riches who
reveres his mother. He who honors his father is gladdened by children,
and when he prays he is heard. He who reveres his father will live a
long life; he obeys the LORD who brings comfort to his mother. He who
fears the LORD honors his father, and serves his parents as rulers.
For kindness to a father will not be forgotten, it will serve as a sin
offering--it will take lasting root. In time of tribulation it will be
recalled to your advantage, like warmth upon frost it will melt away
your sins. A blasphemer is he who despises his father; accursed of his
Creator, he who angers his mother. My son, conduct your affairs with
humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts.
Brothers and sisters: Put on, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved,
heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,
bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a
grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you
also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of
perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace
into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful. Let the
word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and
admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with
gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in
deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to
God the Father through him.
MATTHEW 2:13-15, 19-23
When the magi had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to
Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, flee
to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search
for the child to destroy him." Joseph rose and took the child and his
mother by night and departed for Egypt. He stayed there until the
death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might
be fulfilled, Out of Egypt I called my son. When Herod had died,
behold, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt
and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of
Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead." He rose, took
the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he
heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father
Herod, he was afraid to go back there. And because he had been warned
in a dream, he departed for the region of Galilee. He went and dwelt
in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the
prophets might be fulfilled, He shall be called a Nazorean.
The greatest crisis that all of us face is the crisis of the family.
It is a great blessing that on this Sunday after Christmas, we have
the feast of the Holy Family, so that we can reflect together on the
purpose of the family.
In God's plan, the family is supposed to be a "school of love," in
which every member is loved and inspired to give of oneself in love to
others. So today we will concentrate on what made the family
comprised by Jesus, Mary and Joseph a "school of love."
Their family is called the "Holy Family" because holiness is the
perfection of love. For a family to be a school of love, it needs to
model itself on the loving choices and priorities we see in the Holy
Family. When we look at the Holy Family, we easily see several crucial
elements about what made it holy. First and foremost, they were
centered around Jesus, the living Son of God. Every family is called
to center its life around Jesus the Lord. The family that does this
grows in holiness. The family that does not do so, does not grow in
Secondly, all the members of the family strived to do God's will.
Mary said, in becoming God's mother, "Let it be done to me according
to your word." Joseph was constantly obeying God through the Angel, to
take Mary as his wife, to flee with Mary and Jesus into Egypt, to
return from Egypt after Herod's death. Jesus' whole life is a lesson
in obedience. St. Luke tells us that Jesus was obedient to Mary and
Joseph, growing in wisdom and understanding. He was obedient to His
Heavenly Father even unto death on the Cross, saying amidst drops of
bloody perspiration in the Garden, "Not my will, but yours be done."
The Holy Family was holy because it always sought to do God's will.
Every family that wants to be holy is called to do the same.
Thirdly, and related to both of these, the Holy Family was holy
because it prayed. We read in the Gospels that Mary and Joseph with
the child Jesus would go regularly up to the Temple on the major
feasts to pray. Similarly any family that wants to be holy, that
wants to be what God calls it to be, has to pray, both going up
regularly to the church as a family and then at home. The family that
prays together stays together. The family that makes the sacrifices it
will take to pray each day as a family will receive God's help to be
faithful to his will and grow in love of God and each other.
Husbands and fathers, wives and mothers, and children, all have
special roles to play to help the family to grow in holiness. Fathers
and husbands, you can learn much from St. Joseph about how to fulfill
your vocation. To be a husband legally is pretty easy. To be a
biological father is also easy. But to be the type of father and
husband that God wants you to be, you have to do much more.
The primary role of the husband and the father that we see in the life
of St. Joseph, is to provide and protect the family. Joseph worked
hard as a carpenter to support Jesus and Mary. He also protected them.
Most fathers realize their obligation to provide for the family and
to protect them. The thing that they are called to provide for, more
than anything else, is an example of faith, to inspire their children.
Fathers need to examine their consciences and ask themselves whether,
by what they say and do, they are the best of teachers of the ways of
faith to their families. Each is called to ask himself if he has
surrendered this spiritual responsibility in the family to his wife,
to catechists, to Catholic school teachers, to priests and sisters.
And some fathers, rather than protect their children from sin, can be
examples of sin and set a very bad example, through abusive drinking,
through pornography, and making their children fear them rather than
We see in the life of Mary that her chief role was to nourish Jesus,
to teach him how to love in a human way, and to be receptive to God's
grace so that he, too, would say yes to God in all things. The role
of the mother is to nourish the child and teach the child how to love
by her unconditional and constant love of the child, come what may.
Most mothers do that pretty well. Most children first learned about
love from the love of their mothers. As wives, they are called to
help their husbands to be receptive to graces of God. With regard to
her motherhood, a mother is to spiritually breast-feed her children,
digesting the faith internally and passing it on to the children.
There are mothers who are more concerned on making their children,
especially their daughters, look cute on the outside rather than
beautiful and glorious on the inside. When a mother is not on fire for
the faith, for passing on Jesus, for making her love for God
contagious, it would almost take a miracle for the family to become
Children are called to obey their parents in non-sinful things and to
give honor to their parents. The greatest way for a child to honor a
parent is to become a saint. Sometimes, it is hard to obey parents.
All of us know that. But if Jesus, who was God, could obey his human
parents, then surely other children can. And the call to honor one's
parents continues throughout the whole of life.
There is a special call in the first reading today from Sirach for
grown-up children to care for their parents. As parents get older,
more frail and more sickly, this responsibility becomes more and more
important. God calls them to provide love for their parents, and not
just make arrangements for a nursing home.
We come now to the celebration of the Eucharist, which always needs to
be the heart of the family, the heart of the school of love. Spouses
need to imitate Christ's love for his bride, sacrificing for each
other to make the other holy. For any marriage to thrive, for any
family to thrive, they need to come together often to the Eucharist
where they will receive the Lord of love inside them and be able to
share his complete and total love with each other. To the crisis of
the family that the world and the Church face, God has given his
solution, the Eucharist, this school of love.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
... for the strength, healing and speedy recovery of:
- Damaso Guevara and Eligia Fernando
- Herminia Guiden
- Adelino Bonoan III, Kyle Benedict Bonoan, Kurt Vincent Obando
... for the personal intentions of:
- Lisa Kardos
- Jason Balibay
... for the eternal repose of the souls of
- Rosario Dones
- Tan Beng Tong
Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them.
May they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Christopher S. Lim
- Birthday: Rizaline Velacruz
- Wedding Anniversary: Joseph & Leslie Peralta
- Wedding Anniversary: Leonidas and Adelaida Lombos
- Wedding Anniversary: Lucita and Saturnino Lumboy
... for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers
and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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