12.29.13 ~ Feast of the Holy Family


Col 3:12, 14 – 15, 18 – 21

You are God’s chosen people, holy and well beloved; the livery you wear must be tender compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience… And, to crown all this, charity; that is the bond which makes us perfect. So may the peace of Christ, the very condition of your calling as members of a single body, reign in your hearts… Wives must be submissive to their husbands, as the service of the Lord demands; and you, husbands, treat your wives lovingly, do not grow harsh with them. Children must be obedient to their parents in every way; it is a gracious sign of serving the Lord; and you, parents, must not rouse your children to resentment, or you will break their spirits.

Mt 2:13

… an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, and said, Rise up, take with thee the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt; there remain, until I give thee word. For Herod will soon be making search for the child, to destroy him.

In Conversation with God:

The Messiah wanted to start his redemptive task  in the bosom of a simple, ordinary family. The first thing that Jesus sanctified with his presence was a home…

From Mary, Jesus learned certain turns of phrase, popular expressions full of wisdom which he was later to use in his preaching. He saw how she kept back a little dough from one day to the next, so that it could act as leaven; she added water and mixed it with the new dough, leaving it to rise, well covered with a clean cloth. When his mother mended their garments, the Child used to watch her. If a garment was torn she would look for a piece of cloth to match. Jesus, with a child’s curiosity, would ask her why she did not use a new piece of cloth. Our Lady explained to him that when new patches are washed they pull on the old cloth and tear it; that was why she had to make a patch out of used cloth… The best clothes, the ones they wore on feast days, were kept in a chest. Mary also took great care to place certain aromatic plants between them so as to prevent months from damaging them. Years later these occurrences will appear in Jesus’ preaching… Mary spent nearly every day of her life like millions of other women who look after their families, bring up their children and take care of the house. Mary sanctifies the ordinary everyday things – what some people wrongly regard as unimportant and insignificant: everyday work, looking after those closest to you, visits to friends and relatives. What a blessed ordinariness, that can be so full of love of God! … 

A Christian home must be an imitation of the house of Nazareth…

Do you teach your children the Christian prayers? Do you prepare them, in conjunction with the priests, for the sacraments that they receive when they are young – Confession, Communion and Confirmation? Do you encourage them, when they are sick, to think of Christ suffering, to invoke the aid of the Blessed Virgin and the saints? Do you say the family Rosary together… ? …

Many Christian virtues are necessary in order to sanctify each day of one’s life. First, the theological virtues and then all the others: prudence, loyalty, sincerity, humility, industriousness, cheerfulness… 


The five feasts of Christmas foreshadow the Passion: the Nativity, the straw of the manger pricking the delicate Baby’s skin foreshadow the nails; the feast of the Holy Family, they flee to Egypt, that place of oppression and fear, showing that God goes to the base of humanity, where the suffering and evil is; the solemnity of Mary, on which we hear of Christ’s circumcision, the first shedding of blood (which the Irish commemorate in song); Epiphany, one of the gifts of the Magi is myrrh, a strange gift for a newborn babe; and finally the Baptism of Our Lord, in which we must die with Christ to rise with Him. If we miss the Passion, we miss the point of the Incarnation.


… amazing love, now what else shall i need, Your name brings life, it’s more than the air i breathe, my world was changed when Your love You gave for me, my purpose found and all that You want for me, and i found myself in You… take me to a place where i can see You face to face and all i want to do… is worship You…


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