Saturday, December 26, 2015
THE HOLY FAMILY
December 27, 2015 – THE HOLY FAMILY
Sir 3: 2 - 6, 12 – 14 / Col 3: 12 – 21 / Lk 2: 41 - 52
First Reading: Sir 3: 2 - 6, 12 – 14
For the Lord established that children should respect their father; he confirmed the right of the mother over her children. Whoever honors his father atones for his sins; he who gives glory to his mother prepares a treasure for himself. Whoever honors his father will receive joy from his own children and will be heard when he prays. Whoever glorifies his father will have a long life. Whoever obeys the Lord gives comfort to his mother. My child, take care of your father in his old age, do not cause him sorrow as long as he lives. Even if he has lost his mind, have patience; do not be disrespectful to him while you are in full health. For kindness done to one's father will never be forgotten, it will serve as reparation for your sins.
Second Reading: Col 3: 12 - 21
Clothe yourselves, then, as is fitting for God's chosen people, holy and beloved of him. Put on compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience to bear with one another and forgive whenever there is any occasion to do so. As the Lord has forgiven you, forgive one another. Above all, clothe yourselves with love which binds everything together in perfect harmony. May the peace of Christ overflow in your hearts; for this end you were called to be one body. And be thankful.
Let the word of God dwell in you in all its richness. Teach and admonish one another with words of wisdom. With thankful hearts sing to God psalms, hymns and spontaneous praise. And whatever you do or say, do it in the Name of Jesus, the Lord, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as you should do in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not get angry with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, because that pleases the Lord. Parents, do not be too demanding of your children, lest they become discouraged.
Gospel: Lk 2: 41 – 52
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leapt in her womb. Elizabeth was filled with holy spirit, and giving a loud cry, said, "You are most blessed among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! How is it that the mother of my Lord comes to me? The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby within me suddenly leapt for joy. Blessed are you who believed that the Lord's word would come true!" And Mary said, "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God my savior! He has looked upon his servant in her lowliness, and people forever will call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, Holy is his Name! From age to age his mercy extends to those who live in his presence. He has acted with power and done wonders, and scattered the proud with their plans. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and lifted up those who are downtrodden.
The Holy Family was a family who lived profound hope: Jesus, Mary and Joseph trusted completely in God. They call all of us to that same kind of trust. In our own time they stand beside all who worry and struggle, all who search and pray. The Holy Family stands besides parents anxious about their children, worrying for their welfare. They walk with immigrants and refugees separated from those they love. They comfort teen-age mothers and single parents. They console prisoners, the outcast, the bullied, the scorned – and the parents who love them. And they offer solace and compassion to parents grieving over the loss of their children.
The Holy Family shares our burdens and uplift us by their example. Jesus, Mary and Joseph were never alone: they endured any hardships through the grace of God; they prayed and hoped; they trusted in God's will and help. Surely we could ask where we can find the same kind of peace and purpose in our own families and lives.
An answer is given in Paul's letter to the Colossians. The second reading for today is at times used for weddings. Like Paul's letter to the Corinthians, it speaks of love. Paul was not writing about romantic love. Paul was writing about how to form a healthy and holy Christian community. From his words we can draw lessons about how to form a healthy and holy Christian family.
Paul tells us to put on compassion and kindness, lowliness and meekness, patience and forgiveness, and love. It is all that simple, or all that difficult. The Holy Family must have moments when living those virtues or ideals was hard. But they persisted; they listened to angels, dreamed and entrusted themselves fully to the hands of God.
We have a model for living in the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. We need to see them in full, remembering the closeness of poverty, danger and the cross: we see the manger because there was no room in the inn; we see the flight into Egypt in fear for the Child's life; we see the anxiety over the loss of the twelve year old Boy. We see the quiet simple life in Nazareth where the Child Jesus was subject to his parents and "increased in wisdom and age, and in divine and human favor."
Through any challenge, anxiety, difficulty or danger, they showed us how to be people of faith, people of forgiveness, people of love.
The Holy Family teaches us how to be holy. They had happy times; they had difficult times. Through doubt and insecurity, in peace and joy, in good times and bad times they trusted in God. They did not understand Simeon's prophecy about the Child who would be "the rise or fall of the multitudes of Israel," who would "stand as a sign of contradiction while a sword would pierce [your] own soul." Though they did not understand their Child as in the loss and finding in the temple, they trusted and "kept all these things in their hearts."
Our own lives are similar, our present and future with similar doubts, questions and uncertainties, with good times and bad times. We hope we can live our lives with similar trust in God and love for one another.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
JOHN AND CYNTHIA TAN
VIRGILIO & MA. CONCEPCION CALIMON
BUTCH & ROSE NARCISO
IN MEMORIAM (+)
SALVADORA R. REYES
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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