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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 12-30-11, Feast, Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 12-30-11 | RevisedNewAmericanBible

Posted on 12/29/2011 9:33:49 PM PST by Salvation

December 30, 2011

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

 

Reading 1 Gn 15:1-6; 21:1-3

The word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying:
"Fear not, Abram!"
I am your shield;
I will make your reward very great."
But Abram said,
"O Lord GOD, what good will your gifts be,
if I keep on being childless
and have as my heir the steward of my house, Eliezer?"
Abram continued,
"See, you have given me no offspring,
and so one of my servants will be my heir."

Then the word of the LORD came to him:
"No, that one shall not be your heir;
your own issue shall be your heir."
The Lord took Abram outside and said,
"Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can.
Just so," he added, "shall your descendants be."
Abram put his faith in the LORD,
who credited it to him as an act of righteousness.

The LORD took note of Sarah and had said he would;
he did for her as he had promised.
Sarah became pregnant and bore Abraham a son in his old age,
at the set time that God had stated.
Abraham gave the name Isaac to his son of his
whom Sarah bore him.

Or Heb 11:8,  11-12, 17-19

Brothers and sisters:
By faithful Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place
that he was to receive as an inheritance;
he went out, not knowing where he was to go.
By faith he received power to generate,
even though he was past the normal age
and Sarah herself was sterile
for he thought that the one who had made the promise was trustworthy.
So it was that there came forth from one man,
himself as good as dead,
descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky
as countless as the sands on the seashore.

By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac,
and he who had received the promises was ready to offer
his only son,
of whom it was said,
"Through Isaac descendants shall bear your name."
He reasoned that God was able to raise even from the dead,
and received Isaac back as a symbol.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5

R. (cf. 1)Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.
Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD,
who walks in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
R.Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
your children like olive plants around your table.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.

Or Ps 84:2-3, 5-6, 9-10

R. (cf. 5a)Blessed are they who dwell in your house, O Lord.
How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts!
My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the LORD.
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
R. Blessed are they who dwell in your house, O Lord.
Happy they who dwell in your house!
Continually they praise you.
Happy the men whose strength you are!
Their hearts are set upon the pilgrimage.
R. Blessed are they who dwell in your house, O Lord.
O LORD of hosts, hear our prayer;
hearken, O God of Jacob!
O God, behold our shield,
and look upon the face of your anointed.
R. Blessed are they who dwell in your house, O Lord.

Gospel Lk 2:22-40

When the days were completed for their purification
according to the law of Moses,
They took him up to Jerusalem
to present him to the Lord,
just as it is written in the law of the Lord,
Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,
to offer the sacrifice of
a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,
in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.
This man was righteous and devout,
awaiting the consolation of Israel,
and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit
that he should not see death
before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.
He came in the Spirit into the temple;
and when the parents brought in the child Jesus
to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,
He took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:
"Now, Master, you may let your servant go
in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you prepared in sight of all the peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel."
The child's father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
"Behold, this child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
--and you yourself a sword will pierce--
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."
There was also a prophetess, Anna,
the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.
She was advanced in years,
having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,
and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.
She never left the temple,
but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.
And coming forward at that very time,
she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child
to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions
of the law of the Lord,
they returned to Galilee,
to their own town of Nazareth.
The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;
and the favor of God was upon him.

Or Lk 2:22, 39-40

When the days were completed for their purification
according to the law of Moses,
they took him up to Jerusalem
to present him to the Lord.

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions
of the law of the Lord,
they returned to Galilee,
to their own town of Nazareth.
The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;
and the favor of God was upon him.


TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; christmas; holyfamily; prayer
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 12/29/2011 9:33:54 PM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping!
 
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please Freepmail me.

2 posted on 12/29/2011 9:38:01 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Genesis 15:1-6; 21:1-3

God’s Covenant with Abram


[1] After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Fear not,
Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” [2] But Abram said,
“0 Lord God, what wilt thou give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my
house is Eliezer of Damascus?” [3] And Abram said, “Behold, thou hast given
me no offspring; and a slave born in my house will be my heir.” [4] And behold,
the word of the Lord came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; your own
son shall be your heir.” [5] And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward
heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said
to him, “So shall your descendants be.” [6] And he believed the Lord; and he\
reckoned it to him as righteousness.

The Birth and Circumcision of Isaac


[1] The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did Sarah as he had
promised. And Sarah conceived, and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the
time of which God had spoken to him. [3] Abraham called the name of his son
who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

15:1-21. God rewards Abraham for his generosity towards Mechizedek and for
his renouncing of the riches offered him by the king of Sodom. He appears to
him in a vision and promises his help, many descendants and the land of Ca-
naan. Here all that is required of Abraham is that he believe in the promise that
God himself, through a rite of covenant, undertakes to fulfill. This passage em-
phasizes the gravity of God’s promise and speaks of the faithfulness of God,
who will keep his word.

15:2-3. Abraham does not understand how God can keep the promise he made
to him in Haran (cf. chap. 12). The fact that he has no children is a severe test
of his faith; and anything else God may give him means little by comparison.
This is the first time Abraham speaks to God, and their conversation shows the
deep intimacy between them. He makes his concerns known to God: because
Lot has left him and Abraham has no son of his own, he needs to appoint an
heir who will take over leadership of the clan in return for serving Abraham in his
lifetime. This is the first friendly dialogue the Bible records between God and a
man since the dialogue God had with Adam in paradise (cf. 3:9-1.2). It is a con-
versation between friends and the first example, therefore, of a prayer of friend-
ship and filiation, for to pray is to speak to God.

“Of Damascus”: this is the translation most frequently given for a word which is
very unclear (the original text is unrecoverably corrupt). It does not seem to mean
that Eliezer was a native of Damascus, for he was a slave or servant born in Abra-
ham’s house (v. 3); therefore, it must be some other sort of title whose meaning
escapes us.

15:4-6. Once more Abraham is asked to make an act of faith in the word of God,
and he does so. This pleases God and is reckoned righteous. This makes Abra-
ham the father of all those who believe in God and his saving word.

In the light of this passage St Paul sees Abraham as the model of how a person
becomes righteous in God’s eyes—through faith in his word, the definitive word
being the announcement that God saves us through the death and resurrection
of Jesus. In this way, Abraham not only becomes the father of the Jewish people
according to the flesh, but also the father of those who without being Jews have
become members of the new people of God through faith in Jesus: “We say that
faith was reckoned to Abraham as righteousness. How then was it reckoned to
him? Was it before or after he was circumcised? It was not after, but before he
was circumcised. He received circumcision as a sign or seal of the righteous-
ness which he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was
to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised and who thus
have righteousness reckoned to them, and likewise the father of the circumcised
who are not merely circumcised but also follow the example of the faith which
our father Abraham had before he was circumcised” (Rom 4:9-12).

Abraham’s faith revealed itself in his obedience to God when he left his homeland
(cf. 12:4), and later on when he was ready to sacrifice his son (cf 22:1-4). This is
the aspect of Abraham’s obedience which is given special emphasis in the Letter
of St James, inviting Christians to prove the genuineness of their faith with obe-
dience to God and good works: “Was not Abraham our father justified by works,
when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along
with his works, and faith was completed by works, and scripture was fulfilled
which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteous-
ness’; and he was called the friend of God” (Jas 2:21-23).

21:1-7. The promise recounted in 15:18 and 17:19-21 now begins to be fulfilled,
The patriarch’s age serves to show the special intervention by God in the birth of
Isaac; as does the etymological explanation of the child’s name, “she began to
laugh”, which is now interpreted as “God has made laughter for me”, that is, has
made me happy (cf. 18:15). And Abraham’s obedience is very clear: he strictly
fulfills the commandment of circumcision.

This is perhaps the most joyful moment in the patriarch’s life: up to now it has
been very much marked by trials and tribulations. With the birth of Isaac Abra-
ham’s trust in God grows, as can be seen now by his prompt obedience to his
Law. The Lord is strengthening the patriarch for the final test which he will make
him undergo later. This event in Abraham’s life helps us to see that in moments
of darkness in the course of our life we need to put our trust in God: “The time
has come to cry to him, Remember, Lord, the promises you made, filling me
with hope; they console me in my nothingness and fill my life with strength (Ps
119:49-50). Our Lord wants us to rely on him for everything: it is now glaringly
evident to us that without him we can do nothing (cf. Jn 15:5), whereas with him
we can do all things (cf. Phil 4:13). We confirm our decision to walk always in
his presence (cf. Ps 119:168)” (St. J. Escriva, “Friends of God”, 305).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


3 posted on 12/29/2011 9:46:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
From: Hebrews 11:8, 11-12, 17-19

The Good Example of the Patriarchs
-----------------------------------------------------
[8] By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place which he
was to receive as an inheritance and he went out, not knowing where he was to
go.

11] By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past
the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. [12] Therefore from
one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the
stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

[17] By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had re-
ceived the promises was ready to offer up his only son, [18] of whom it was said,
"Through Isaac shall your descendants be named." [19] He considered that God
was able to raise men even from the dead; hence he did receive him back, and
this was a symbol.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

8. Abraham, "our father in faith", is the greatest example, in the Old Testament,
of faith in God (cf. Gen 12:1-4; Rom 4:1ff; Gal 3:6-9; Heb 6:13ff). It is not surpri-
sing that the author pauses to dwell on the faithful life of the father of the chosen
people. Putting all his trust in the divine word, Abraham gave up all the security
and comfort of his native land in Ur of the Chaldeans, to set out for a distant and
unknown place, the land of Canaan, which God had promised to give his descen-
dants. "Neither the love for his homeland nor the pleasure of his neighbors' com-
pany nor the comforts of his father's home were able to weaken his resolve. He
set out courageously and ardently to where God willed to lead him. What self-
abasement and abandonment! One cannot love God perfectly unless one renoun-
ces all attachment to perishable things" (St. Francis de Sales, "Treatise on the
Love of God", book 10). Abraham symbolizes the need for detachment if one is
to obtain redemption and to be a good servant of God and of others.

"Never forget that Christ cannot be reached without sacrifice. You have to get rid
of everything that gets in the way [...]. You have to do the same in this battle for
the glory of God, in this struggle of love and peace by which we are trying to
spread Christ's kingdom. In order to serve the Church, the Pope and all souls,
you must be ready to give up everything superfluous" (St. J. Escriva, "Friends
of God", 196).

11-12. Sarah, like Abraham, was very elderly when God announced that she was
going to have a child. At first she was puzzled and even sarcastically skeptical
(cf. Gen 18:9f), but soon her attitude changed into a faith which God rewarded by
her conceiving Isaac. The faith of Sarah and her husband can be said to exceed
that of the earlier patriarchs because what God promised could come true only
by means of a miracle, since Abraham, like his wife, was old and incapable of
begetting children. That is why it says that from one man "and him as good as
dead" innumerable descendants were born. God is generous in rewarding man's
faith. "'Si habueritis fidem, sicut granum sinapis"! -- If your faith were the size of
a mustard seed!...'

"What promises are contained in this exclamation of the Master!" (St.. J. Escriva,
"The Way", 585).

The conception of Isaac is also a "type" of that of Christ. "All the miraculous con-
ceptions which occurred in the Old Testament were prefigurements of the grea-
test of all miracles, the Incarnation of the Word. It was fitting that his birth from
a Virgin should be prefigured by other births so as to prepare people's minds for
faith. But there is this difference: God miraculously enabled Sarah to conceive by
means of human seed, whereas the blessed Virgin conceived without it" (St. Tho-
mas Aquinas, "Commentary on Heb.", 11, 3).

17-19. It is very difficult for us to imagine what Abraham thought when God asked
him to sacrifice Isaac, the son of the promise, his only son, in the mountains of
Moriah (cf. Gen 22:2). The Old Testament shows how resolute Abraham was, his
absolute docility, his serenity even in the midst of suffering his trust in God (cf.
Gen 22:1-18). This is revealed in the touching conversation between the Patriarch
and his son, when Isaac asks him where is the lamb for the offering and Abraham
replies, "God will provide himself with the lamb for a burnt offering, my son". In St.
Paul's epistles generally Abraham's faith is proposed as an example (cf. Gal 3:7;
Rom 4:3, 11-12; 4:17-22); but that was in the context of his faith in God's promise
that he would have a multitude of descendants. Here, however, the Patriarch's
faith is to be seen in the way he approaches a commandment which seems to
negate that promise: how could God possibly ask him to sacrifice his only son?
The answer lies in the fact that God knew that Abraham had faith in his ability to
bring the dead back to life.

Abraham's obedience to God in this episode is the most striking proof of his faith.
Here most of all the Patriarch "believed against hope [...]; he grew strong in his
faith as he gave glory to God" (Rom 4:18, 21). "The Patriarch hears words which
deny the promise; he hears the very author of the promise contradict himself, but
he is not dismayed; he is going to obey as if everything were completely consis-
tent. And in fact the two things were compatible: the two things God said were
contradictory as far as human logic was concerned; but faith brought them into
agreement [...].

"God tested Abraham's faith. Did he not know the strength and integrity of that
great man? Undoubtedly he did, very well. Why, then, did he put them to the
test? He did not do it to prove to himself the Patriarch's virtue; he did it to show
the world how excellent Abraham was. The Apostle, moreover, shows the He-
brews one of the causes of our temptations, so that anyone who is afflicted
should not think that God has abandoned him" ("Hom. on Heb.", 25). we know,
moreover, that precisely on account of Abraham's generosity and faith, God re-
newed his promise to him, now ratifying it with an oath (cf. Gen 22:16; Heb 6:
13-18).

19. "Hence he did receive him back, and this was a symbol": after offering Isaac,
Abraham was given him back, because God stepped in before Isaac was sacri-
ficed (Gen 22:11-12). And he received him as "a symbol" (literally, as "a para-
ble"). Tradition has always seen the sacrifice of Isaac, the only Son, as a sym-
bol of the redemptive sacrifice of Christ; and, particularly, it has seen God's inter-
vention on Mount Moriah as a symbol of the Resurrection. "He saw it as a sym-
bol," Theodoret comments, "that is, as a prefigurement of the Resurrection. (I-
saac) was brought to death by his father's will, and then brought back to life by
the voice which prevented his death. All this amounts to a prefiguring of the pas-
sion of the Savior, and that is why the Lord told the Jews, 'Your father Abraham
rejoiced that he was to see my day; he saw it and was glad' (Jn 8:56)" ("Inter-
pretatio Ep. ad Haebreos, ad loc.").

Origen, a writer of Christian antiquity, reflects this tradition very beautifully when
he says that the sacrifice of Isaac helps us to understand the mystery of Re-
demption. "Isaac carrying the wood for the burnt offering is a symbol of Christ,
who carried his (own) cross. But it is also the function of the priest to carry the
wood for the burnt offering [...]. Christ is the Word of God, but the Word made
flesh. Therefore, there is in Christ an element which comes from above and a-
nother which comes from human nature, which he took on in the womb of the
Virgin. This is why Christ experiences suffering: he suffers in the flesh, and he
dies, but what suffers death is the flesh, and the ram is a figure of this, as St.
John said, 'Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world' (Jn
1:29) [...]. Christ is at one and the same time victim and high priest. Thus, ac-
cording to the spirit he offers the victim to his father, according to his flesh, he
himself is offered on the altar of the cross" ("Homilies on Genesis", 8, 6 and 9).

For all these reasons, Eucharistic Prayer I links Christ's sacrifice with those of
Abel, Isaac and Melchizedek.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries".  Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States. 

4 posted on 12/29/2011 9:47:13 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
From: Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14

Duties Towards Parents
-----------------------------------
[2] For the Lord honored the father above the children,
     and he confirmed the right of the mother over her sons.
[3] Whoever honors his father atones for sins,
[4] and whoever glorifies his mother is like one who lays up treasure.
[5] Whoever honors his father will he gladdened by his own children, and
     when he prays he will he heard.
[6] Whoever glorifies his father will have long life,
          and whoever obeys the Lord will refresh his mother.

[12] O son, help your father in his old age,
            and do not grieve him as long as he lives;
[13] even if he is lacking in understanding, show forbearance;
            in all your strength do not despise him.
[14] For kindness to a father will not be forgotten,
            and against your sins it will be credited to you.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

3:1-16:23. Throughout the book each doctrinal passage is followed by a section
to do with practical applications, sapiential thoughts on moral conduct, eulogies
of virtues and sapiential advice on where to seek things that are truly good, etc.
This is the first such section. In it the reader will find an exhortation to prudence
in all its various forms.

3:1-16. Traditional wisdom encourages people to be observant and to reflect on
life in order to discover the best route to happiness. Here it focuses on the
relationship between children and their parents: honoring one's parents brings
blessings.

However, Ben Sirach's viewpoint is primarily a religious one. "Whoever fears the
Lord will honor his father" (v. 7, RSV note m). The Decalogue laid this down very
clearly: "Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded
you; that your day may be prolonged, and that it may go well with you, in the
land ..." (Deut 5:16; cf. Ex 20:12), and these verses are a valuable commentary
that is generous in its praise of those who attend to that commandment. Very
appropriately, the Church uses these verses as the first reading on the feast of
the Holy Family, for God honors Mary and St Joseph by entrusting Jesus to
their care.

Finally (cf. vv. 12-26), the passage dwells on children's duties to their parents
when they can no longer look after themselves: The fourth commandment re-
minds grown children of their "responsibilities toward their parents". As much
as they can, they must give them material and moral support in old age and in
times of illness, loneliness or distress. Jesus recalls this duty of gratitude (cf.
Mk 7:10-12)" ("Catechism of the Catholic Church", 2218).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries".  Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

5 posted on 12/29/2011 9:48:12 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Colossians 3:12-21

Progress in the Spiritual Life


[12] Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness,
lowliness, meekness, and patience, [13] forbearing one another and, if one has a
complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so
you also must forgive. [14] And above all these put on love, which binds everything
together in perfect harmony. [15] And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to
which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. [16] Let the word
of Christ dwell in you richly, as you teach and admonish one another in all wisdom,
and as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your
hearts to God. [17] And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the
name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Morals in Family Life


[18] Wives, be subject to your husband as is fitting in the Lord. [19] Husbands,
love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. [20] Children, obey your parents
in everything, for this pleases the Lord. [21] Fathers, do not provoke your children,
lest they become discouraged.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

12-13. Putting on the new nature is not just an external action, like putting on
different clothes. It is a transfiguration involving the whole person — soul and body,
mind and will. This interior change begins to operate when one makes a firm re-
solution to lead a fully Christian life; but it calls for an on-going effort, day in day
out, to practice all the virtues. “Conversion is something momentary; sanctifica-
tion is the work of a lifetime. The divine seed of charity, which God has sown in
our souls, wants to grow, to express itself in action, to yield results which con-
tinually coincide with what God wants. Therefore, we must be ready to begin
again, to find again — in new situations — the light and the stimulus of our first
conversion” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 58).

The virtues which the Apostle lists here as characteristic of the new man are all
expressions, in one way or another, of charity, which “binds everything together
in total harmony” (v. 14). Meekness, patience, forgiveness and gratefulness all
reflect an essential virtue — humility. Only a humble person can be forgiving and
truly appreciative, because only he realizes that everything he has comes from
God. This realization leads him to be understanding towards his neighbor, forgi-
ving him as often as needs be; by acting in this way he is proving the genuine-
ness of his faith and love.

See the note on Eph 4:20-24.

14. The comparison of the new nature to a new outfit is extended here by a furt-
her metaphor: charity is the belt which keeps everything together. Without it the
other virtues would fall apart: supernatural virtue could not survive (cf. 1 Cor 13:1-
3). St Francis de Sales uses simple examples to explain this truth: “Without ce-
ment and mortar, which knits the bricks together and strengthens the walls, the
entire building is bound to collapse; a human body would simply disintegrate un-
less it had nerves, muscles and tendons; and if charity were absent, virtues sim-
ply could not stay together” (St Francis de Sales, “Treatise on the Love of God”,
11, 9).

“Love, as the bond of perfection and fullness of the law (cf. Col 3:14; Rom 13:10),
governs, imbues, and perfects all the means of sanctification” (Vatican II, “Lumen
Gentium”, 42). Therefore, “if we want to achieve holiness — in spite of personal
shortcomings and miseries which will last as long as we live — we must make an
effort, with God’s grace, to practice charity, which is the fullness of the law and
the bond of perfection. Charity is not something abstract, it entails a real, com-
plete, self-giving to the service of God and all men — to the service of that God
who speaks to us in the silence of prayer and in the hubbub of the world and of
those people whose existence is interwoven with our own. By living charity —
Love — we live all the human and supernatural virtues required of a Christian” (St.
J. Escriva, “Conversations”, 62).

15. The “peace of Christ” is that which flows from the new order of grace which
he has established; grace gives man direct access to God and therefore to that
peace he so much yearns for. “Thou has made us for thyself and our hearts are
restless till they rest in thee” (St Augustine, “Confessions”, 1, 1). This is not a
peace the world can give (cf. Jn 14:27), because it is not a function of purely ma-
terial progress or well-being, nor does it derive from the sort of peace that should
obtain among nations. “Peace on earth, which men of every era have most eage-
rly yearned for, can be firmly established only if the order laid down by God is
dutifully observed” (Bl. John XXIII, “Pacem In Terris”, 1).

The peace of Christ, then, is “a peace that comes from knowing that our Father
God loves us, and that we are made one with Christ. It results from being under
the protection of the Virgin, our Lady, and assisted by St Joseph. This is the
great light that illuminates our lives. In the midst of difficulties and of our personal
failings, it encourages us to keep up our effort” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing
By”, 22).

16. “The word of Christ”: the whole corpus of our Lord’s teachings, of which the
Apostles are accredited witnesses. This should be ever-present to the Christian’s
soul and “dwell...richly” in him, imbuing everything he does: the word of Christ is
the best nourishment of one’s life of prayer and an inexhaustible source of practi-
cal teaching; and it is to be found in the first instance in the books of the New
Testament. St John Chrysostom says that these writings “are teachers which
never cease to instruct us [...]. Open these books. What a treasury of good re-
medies they contain! [...]. All you need do is look at the book, read it and re-
member well the wise teachings therein. The source of all our evils is our igno-
rance of the sacred books” (”Hom. on Col, ad loc.”).

St Paul also reminds us that our appreciation should lead us to glorify the Lord
with songs of joy and gratitude. We can use ready-made hymns for this purpose,
and also the Psalms, which the Church has always used in its liturgy to praise
God and to nourish the spiritual life. “Just as the mouth savors good food, so
does the heart savor the Psalms” (St Bernard, “Sermons on the Song of Songs”,
7, 5).

See the note on Eph 5:19.

17. All genuinely human things can and should be sanctified (cf. 1 Cor 10:31),
by being done perfectly and for love of God.

The Second Vatican Council has recalled this teaching: “Lay people [...], while
meeting their human obligations in the ordinary conditions of life, should not se-
parate their union with Christ from their ordinary life; through the very performance
of their tasks, which are God’s will for them, they actually promote the growth of
their union with him. This is the path along which lay people must advance, fer-
vently, joyfully” (”Apostolicam Actuositatem”, 4).

This teaching was very much part of the message and life of the founder of Opus
Dei: “I assure you, my children, that when a Christian carries out with love the
most insignificant everyday action, that action overflows with the transcendence
of God. That is why I have told you repeatedly, and hammered away once and
again on the idea, that the Christian vocation consists in making heroic verse
out of the prose of each day. Heaven and earth seem to merge, my children, on
the horizon. But where they really meet is in your hearts, when you sanctify your
everyday lives” (”Conversations”, 116).

The Second Vatican Council also sees in this passage of Colossians a basis for
ecumenical dialogue with non-Catholics: “And if in moral matters there are many
Christians who do not always understand the Gospel in the same way as Catho-
lics, and do not admit the same solutions for the more difficult problems of mo-
dern society, they nevertheless want to cling to Christ’s word as the source of
Christian virtue and to obey the command of the Apostle: [Col 3:17 follows]”
(”Unitatis Redintegratio”, 23).

18-19. In the period when this epistle was written, especially in the East, women
were regarded as inferior to men. St Paul does not make a direct attack on the
customs of his time, but the way he focuses the question of the role of women
provides the elements of an answer to it. He identifies what a woman’s role in the
family should be: it is true that the husband has an important part to play, but the
wife also has a role to perform and one which is non-transferable. The wife is not
the husband’s slave: she is his equal in dignity and must be treated by him with
respect and sincere love. It is taken for granted that the family needs a center
of authority, and that this authority belongs to the husband, in accordance with
God’s design (cf. 1 Cor 11:3, 12-14). “The place and task of the father in and for
the family is of unique and irreplaceable importance [...]. In revealing and in re-
living on earth the very fatherhood of God (cf. Eph 3:15), a man is called upon to
ensure the harmonious and united development of all the members of the family”
(Bl. John Paul II, “Familiaris Consortio”, 25).

God gave Eve to Adam as his inseparable companion and complement (cf. Gen
2:18); she was therefore duty-bound to live in peace with him. Man and woman
have different, though complementary, roles in family life; they are equal in digni-
ty, by virtue of the fact that they are human persons: “The unity of marriage, dis-
tinctly recognized by our Lord, is made clear in the equal personal dignity which
must be accorded to man and woman in mutual and unreserved affection” (Vati-
can II, “Gaudium Et Spes”, 49).

Therefore, a husband should make a special effort to love and respect his wife:
“You are not her master”, writes Saint Ambrose, “but her husband; she was not
given to you to be your slave, but your wife [...]. Reciprocate her attentiveness
to you and be grateful to her for her love” (”Exameron”, 5, 7, 19 quoted in “Fami-
liaris Consortio”, 25).

See the note on Eph 5:22-24 and 5:25-33.

20-21. Children should obey their parents in everything, as God has commanded
(cf. Ex 20:12; Sir 3:8ff) — a commandment which shows that this is something
which is part of human nature. Obviously for a child’s obedience to “please the
Lord” it must not involve doing anything that is opposed to God’s will, for Jesus
taught that “he who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me”
(Mt 10:37).

For their part, parents must do everything they can to bring up their children well.
In every family there should be an “educational exchange between parents and
children (cf. Eph 6:1-4; Col 3:20f) in which each gives and receives. By means of
love, respect and obedience towards their parents, children offer their specific and
irreplaceable contribution to the construction of an authentically human and Chris-
tian family (cf. “Gaudium Et Spes”, 48). They will be aided in this if parents exer-
cise their unrenounceable authority as a true and proper ‘ministry’, that is, as a
service to the human and Christian well-being of their children, and in particular
as a service aimed at helping them acquire a truly responsible freedom” (”Fami-
liaris Consortio”, 21).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


6 posted on 12/29/2011 9:49:00 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 2:22-40

The Purification of Mary and the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple


[22] And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses,
they (Joseph and Mary) brought Him (Jesus) up to Jerusalem to present Him to
the Lord [23] (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “every male that opens the
womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) [24] and to offer a sacrifice according to
what is said in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtle-doves, or two young pigeons.”

Simeon’s Prophecy


[25] Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this
man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy
Spirit was upon him. [26] And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that
he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. [27] And inspired
by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child
Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, [28] he took Him up in
his arms and blessed God and said, [29] “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant de-
part in peace, according to Thy word; [30] for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation
[31] which Thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, [32] a light for re-
velation to the Gentiles, and for the glory to Thy people Israel.”

[33] And His father and His mother marvelled at what was said about Him; [34]
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, His mother, “Behold this child is
set for the fall the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against
[35] (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of
many hearts may be revealed.”

Anna’s Prophecy


[36] And there was a prophetess Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of
Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from
her virginity, [37] and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from
the temple, worshipping with fasting and prayer night and day. [38] And coming
up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of Him to all who were
looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

The Childhood of Jesus


[39] And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord,
they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. [40] And the child grew
and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon Him.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

22-24. The Holy Family goes up to Jerusalem to fulfill the prescriptions of the
Law of Moses—the purification of the mother and the presentation and then re-
demption or buying back of the first-born. According to Leviticus 12:2-8, a woman
who bore a child was unclean. The period of legal impurity ended, in the case of a
mother of a male child, after forty days, with a rite of purification. Mary most holy,
ever-virgin, was exempt from these precepts of the Law, because she conceived
without intercourse, nor did Christ’s birth undo the virginal integrity of His Mother.
However, she chose to submit herself to the Law, although she was under no ob-
ligation to do so.

“Through this example, foolish child, won’t you learn to fulfill the holy Law of God,
regardless of personal sacrifice?

“Purification! You and I certainly do need purification. Atonement and, more
than atonement, Love. Love as a searing iron to cauterize our soul’s uncleanness,
and as a fire to kindle with divine flames the wretchedness of our hearts” (St. J.
Escriva, “Holy Rosary”, Fourth Joyful Mystery).

Also, in Exodus 13:2, 12-13 it is indicated that every first-born male belongs to
God and must be set apart for the Lord, that is, dedicated to the service of God.
However, once divine worship was reserved to the tribe of Levi, first-born who did
not belong to that tribe were not dedicated to God’s service, and to show that
they continued to be God’s special property, a rite of redemption was performed.

The Law also laid down that the Israelites should offer in sacrifice some lesser
victim—for example, a lamb or, if they were poor, a pair of doves or two pigeons.
Our Lord, who “though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that
by His poverty you might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9), chose to have a poor
man’s offering made on His behalf.

25-32. Simeon, who is described as a righteous and devout man, obedient to
God’s will, addresses himself to our Lord as a vassal or loyal servant who, having
kept watch all his life in expectation of the coming of his Lord, sees that this mo-
ment has “now” come, the moment that explains his whole life. When he takes
the Child in his arms, he learns, not through any reasoning process but through
a special grace from God, that this Child is the promised Messiah, the Consola-
tion of Israel, the Light of the nations.

Simeon’s canticle (verses 29-32) is also a prophecy. It consists of two stanzas:
the first (verses 29-30) is an act of thanksgiving to God, filled with profound joy
for having seen the Messiah. The second (verses 31-32) is more obviously pro-
phetic and extols the divine blessings which the Messiah is bringing to Israel
and to all men. The canticle highlights the fact that Christ brings redemption to
all men without exception—something foretold in many Old Testament prophecies
(cf. Genesis 22:18; Isaiah 2:6; 42:6; 60:3; Psalm 28:2).

It is easy to realize how extremely happy Simeon was—given that many patri-
archs, prophets and kings of Israel had yearned to see the Messiah, yet did not
see Him, whereas he now held Him in his arms (cf. Luke 10:24; 1 Peter 1:10).

33. The Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph marvelled not because they did not know
who Christ was; they were in awe at the way God was revealing Him. Once again
they teach us to contemplate the mysteries involved in the birth of Christ.

34-35. After Simeon blesses them, the Holy Spirit moves him to further prophecy
about the Child’s future and His Mother’s. His words become clearer in the light
of our Lord’s life and death.

Jesus came to bring salvation to all men, yet He will be a sign of contradiction
because some people will obstinately reject Him—and for this reason He will be
their ruin. But for those who accept Him with faith Jesus will be their salvation,
freeing them from sin in this life and raising them up to eternal life.

The words Simeon addresses to Mary announce that she will be intimately
linked with her Son’s redemptive work. The sword indicates that Mary will have
a share in her Son’s sufferings; hers will be an unspeakable pain which pierces
her soul. Our Lord suffered on the cross for our sins, and it is those sins which
forge the sword of Mary’s pain. Therefore, we have a duty to atone not only to
God but also to His Mother, who is our Mother too.

The last words of the prophecy, “that out of many hearts thoughts may be re-
vealed”, link up with verse 34: uprightness or perversity will be demonstrated by
whether one accepts or rejects Christ.

36-38. Anna’s testimony is very similar to Simeon’s; like him, she too has been
awaiting the coming of the Messiah her whole life long, in faithful service of God,
and she too is rewarded with the joy of seeing Him. “She spoke of Him,” that is,
of the Child—praising God in her prayer and exhorting others to believe that this
Child is the Messiah.

Thus, the birth of Christ was revealed by three kinds of witnesses in three diffe-
rent ways—first, by the shepherds, after the angel’s announcement; second, by
the Magi, who were guided by a star; third, by Simeon and Anna, who were in-
spired by the Holy Spirit.

All who, like Simeon and Anna, persevere in piety and in the service of God, no
matter how insignificant their lives seem in men’s eyes, become instruments the
Holy Spirit uses to make Christ known to others. In His plan of redemption God
avails of these simple souls to do much good to all mankind.

39. Before their return to Nazareth, St. Matthew tells us (2:13-23), the Holy
Family fled to Egypt where they stayed for some time.

40. “Our Lord Jesus Christ as a child, that is, as one clothed in the fragility of
human nature, had to grow and become stronger but as the eternal Word of God
He had no need to become stronger or to grow. Hence He is rightly described
as full of wisdom and grace” (St. Bede, “In Lucae Evangelium Expositio, in loc.”).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


7 posted on 12/29/2011 9:49:48 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Mass Readings


First reading Ecclesiasticus 3:3-7,14-17 ©
The Lord honours the father in his children,
  and upholds the rights of a mother over her sons.
Whoever respects his father is atoning for his sins,
  he who honours his mother is like someone amassing a fortune.
Whoever respects his father will be happy with children of his own,
  he shall be heard on the day when he prays.
Long life comes to him who honours his father,
  he who sets his mother at ease is showing obedience to the Lord.
My son, support your father in his old age,
  do not grieve him during his life.
Even if his mind should fail, show him sympathy,
  do not despise him in your health and strength;
for kindness to a father shall not be forgotten
  but will serve as reparation for your sins.

First reading Genesis 15:1-6,21:1-3 ©
The word of the Lord was spoken to Abram in a vision, ‘Have no fear, Abram, I am your shield; your reward will be very great.’
  ‘My Lord,’ Abram replied ‘what do you intend to give me? I go childless...’ Then Abram said, ‘See, you have given me no descendants; some man of my household will be my heir.’ And then this word of the Lord was spoken to him, ‘He shall not be your heir; your heir shall be of your own flesh and blood.’ Then taking him outside he said, ‘Look up to heaven and count the stars if you can. Such will be your descendants’ he told him. Abram put his faith in the Lord, who counted this as making him justified.
  The Lord dealt kindly with Sarah as he had said, and did what he had promised. So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the time God had promised. Abraham named the son born to him Isaac, the son to whom Sarah had given birth.


Psalm Psalm 127:1-5 ©
O blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways!
O blessed are those who fear the Lord
  and walk in his ways!
By the labour of your hands you shall eat.
  You will be happy and prosper.
O blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways!
Your wife like a fruitful vine
  in the heart of your house;
your children like shoots of the olive,
  around your table.
O blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways!
Indeed thus shall be blessed
  the man who fears the Lord.
May the Lord bless you from Zion
  all the days of your life!
O blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways!

Psalm Psalm 104:1-6,8-9 ©
He, the Lord, is our God. He remembers his covenant for ever.
Give thanks to the Lord, tell his name,
  make known his deeds among the peoples.
O sing to him, sing his praise;
  tell all his wonderful works!
He, the Lord, is our God. He remembers his covenant for ever.
Be proud of his holy name,
  let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice.
Consider the Lord and his strength;
  constantly seek his face.
He, the Lord, is our God. He remembers his covenant for ever.
Remember the wonders he has done,
  his miracles, the judgements he spoke.
O children of Abraham, his servant,
  O sons of the Jacob he chose.
He, the Lord, is our God. He remembers his covenant for ever.
He remembers his covenant for ever,
  his promise for a thousand generations,
the covenant he made with Abraham,
  the oath he swore to Isaac.
He, the Lord, is our God. He remembers his covenant for ever.


Gospel Acclamation Heb1:1-2
Alleluia, alleluia!
At various times in the past
and in various different ways,
God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets;
but in our own time, the last days,
he has spoken to us through his Son.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 2:22-40 ©
When the day came for them to be purified as laid down by the Law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, – observing what stands written in the Law of the Lord: Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord – and also to offer in sacrifice, in accordance with what is said in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.
  Now in Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was an upright and devout man; he looked forward to Israel’s comforting and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord. Prompted by the Spirit he came to the Temple and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the Law required, he took him into his arms and blessed God; and he said:
‘Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace,
just as you promised;
because my eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared for all the nations to see,
a light to enlighten the pagans
and the glory of your people Israel.’
As the child’s father and mother stood there wondering at the things that were being said about him, Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected – and a sword will pierce your own soul too – so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.’
  There was a prophetess also, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well on in years. Her days of girlhood over, she had been married for seven years before becoming a widow. She was now eighty-four years old and never left the Temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayer. She came by just at that moment and began to praise God; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.
  When they had done everything the Law of the Lord required, they went back to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. Meanwhile the child grew to maturity, and he was filled with wisdom; and God’s favour was with him.

Gospel Luke 2:22,39-40 ©
When the day came for them to be purified as laid down by the Law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.
  When they had done everything the Law of the Lord required, they went back to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. Meanwhile the child grew to maturity, and he was filled with wisdom; and God’s favour was with him.

8 posted on 12/29/2011 9:57:40 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
URBI ET ORBI MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI
Solemn Mass of Christmas Eve with Pope Benedict XVI

Christmas, Pagan Romans and Frodo Baggins
Midnight Masses Canceled in Iraq Because of Growing Security Concerns
Christmas Overview for All
The Tradition of Midnight Mass: History
Which Christmas Mass are you attending? [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Christmas, Christians, and Christ
The Many Meanings of Christmas
Vocations Under the Christmas Tree? [Catholic Caucus]
A Meditation On the “Bloody Octave” of Christmas [Catholic Caucus]
"It (Theosis) can be a somewhat startling theme for western Christian ears..."
Archbishop Wenski brightens Christmas for Krome detainees
The Octave of Christmas: December 25 -- January 1 [Ecumenical]
Pope's Christmas Warning: 'The Future Of The World Is At Stake'
Father Corapi: What Really Matters [at Christmas]?
Papal Midnight Mass With No Communion in The Hand
Christmas Requiem for Iraq's Christian Community
Christmas story shows season’s beauty [nice surprise from the Chicago Sun Times]
Text Of Pope's Homily For Christmas Eve Mass
Merry Christmas: Love is born on Christmas Morn and the Whole World Begins Again
'Christmas is Evil': Muslim Group Launches Poster Campaign Against Festive Period [UK]

The Origin of Nativity Scenes
St. Francis and the Christmas Creche
Holy Day Vs. Holiday: Making Christmas Less Commercial
25 Ways We're Different this Christmas
On Christmas: Where Everything Began
Saved by Christmas
Christmas Midnight Mass Canceled in Iraq
Some Christmas History: The Aztec Christmas Flower
Top 10 Christmas Carols (What is your favorite Christmas Carol?)
Where’s the Human in Humanism? Humanist Ads Violate...Own Humanist Standards (Attacking Christmas]
Fr. Corapi: In Reality, Sadness Has No Place At Christmas Time Or Any Time…
Pope's battle to save Christmas: Don't let atheists crush your traditions, Benedict tells Britain
A CHRISTMAS TRADITION IN ROME: THE STREET CLEANERS NATIVITY SCENE
The Days of Christmastide -- more than twelve!
Saint Padre Pio's Christmas Meditation
"Transform Me. Renew Me. Change Me, Change Us All" (Pope's Midnight Mass Homily)
Christmas in Rome. The Pope's Tale of the Crèche
On the Feast of Christ's Birth [Benedict XVI]
The Meaning of Christmas: Look Deeper
St. Francis and the Christmas crib.
Away in a Manger [St. Francis of Assisi and the first Nativity scene]

Message of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace [Family]
Christmastide and Epiphany
SOLEMNITY OF THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD: HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI [Catholic Caucus]
A Christmas Message >From Fr. Corapi
Christmas and the Eucharist(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
Preface: Memories of Christmas
Christmas Overview
The Manger -- Nativity Scene -- Crêche
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Christmas Quiz; How Much Do You Really Know?
Christmas Prayers: Prayers and Collects for the Feast of the Nativity
[Christmas] Customs from Various Countries and Cultures
The 12 Days of Christmas and Christmastide: A Rich Catholic Tradition
The 12 Days of Christmas -- Activities, Customs, Prayers, Blessings, Hymns -- For the Family
Iraqis Crowd Churches for Christmas Mass
Pope Wishes the World a Merry Christmas
On this night, a comforting message(Merry Christmas!)
Advent through Christmas -- 2007
Bethlehem beyond the Christmas calm
The Origin of Nativity Scenes

Various Orthodox Texts for the Feast of the Nativity
The Five Best Christmas Stories
What Are We Celebrating When We Celebrate Christmas?
Secular Christmas Celebration Pointless, Pope Says
The Wonder of Christmas - 1959
The Real Meaning of Christmas Lights
Top ten Carols and things you didn't know about them
The Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
Christmas Proclamation
Christmas gifts are a reminder of Jesus, the greatest gift given to mankind, Pope tells youth
The Senses of Christmas
Pope celebrates Christmas mass
Christmas: The Turning Point of History
The Original Christmas Story
Bringing Christmas to Life Again
Christmas: the beginning of our redemption
Christmas and the Eucharist
Catholic Caucus: The 16 Days of Christmas (Christmas to the Baptism of the Lord)
Origin of the Twelve Days of Christmas [An Underground Catechism]
Origin of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" [Underground Catechism]

9 posted on 12/29/2011 9:59:43 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
10 posted on 12/29/2011 10:00:29 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]
11 posted on 12/29/2011 10:01:51 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Sorrowful Mysteries
(Tuesdays and Fridays)
1. The Agony in the Garden (Matthew 26:36-46, Luke 22:39-46) [Spiritual fruit - God's will be done]
2. The Scourging at the Pillar (Matthew 27:26, Mark 15:15, John 19:1) [Spiritual fruit - Mortification of the senses]
3. The Crowning with Thorns (Matthew 27:27-30, Mark 15:16-20, John 19:2) [Spiritual fruit - Reign of Christ in our heart]
4. The Carrying of the Cross (Matthew 27:31-32, Mark 15:21, Luke 23:26-32, John 19:17) [Spiritual fruit - Patient bearing of trials]
5. The Crucifixion (Matthew 27:33-56, Mark 15:22-39, Luke 23:33-49, John 19:17-37) [Spiritual fruit - Pardoning of Injuries]

12 posted on 12/29/2011 10:03:40 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Jesus, High Priest
 

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.

13 posted on 12/29/2011 10:04:22 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

14 posted on 12/29/2011 10:07:24 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

Psalm 109:8

    "Let his days be few; and let another take his place of leadership."

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


15 posted on 12/29/2011 10:08:19 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
immaculate_conception.jpg (155743 bytes)

December Devotion: The Immaculate Conception

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of December is traditionally dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. The Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first moment of her conception, by a singular privilege of Almighty God, and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, our Savior and hers, was preserved from all stain of original sin. This age-old belief of the Church was defined by Pope Pius IX in 1854 as an article of revealed truth.

Mary was in need of redemption and she was indeed redeemed by the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ. The manner of Mary's redemption, however, was unique. Instead of being freed from original sin after having contracted it, she was preserved from contracting it. This was a most fitting favor for the Mother of the Redeemer.

INVOCATION
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

TO THE VIRGIN IMMACULATE
O Virgin Immaculate, Mother of God and my Mother, from thy sublime height turn upon me thine eyes of pity. Filled with confidence in thy goodness and knowing full well thy power, I beseech thee to extend to. me thine assistance in the journey of life, which is so full of dangers for my soul. And in order that I may never be the slave of the devil through sin, , but may ever live with my heart humble and pure, I entrust myself wholly to thee. I consecrate my heart to thee for ever, my only desire being to love thy divine Son Jesus. Mary, none of thy devout servants has ever perished; may I too be saved. Amen.

PRAYER OF PRAISE
O pure and immaculate and likewise blessed Virgin, who art the sinless Mother of thy Son, the mighty Lord of the universe, thou who art inviolate and altogether holy, the hope of the hopeless and sinful, we sing thy praises. We bless thee, as full of every grace, thou who didst bear the God-Man: we all bow low before thee; we invoke thee and implore thine aid. Rescue us, 0 holy and inviolate Virgin, from every necessity that presses upon us and from all the temptations of the devil. Be our intercessor and advocate at the hour of death and judgment; deliver us from the fire that is not extinguished and from the outer darkness; make us worthy of the glory of thy Son, O dearest and most clement Virgin Mother. Thou indeed art our only hope, most sure and sacred in God's sight, to whom be honor and glory, majesty and dominion for ever and ever world without end. Amen.   
Saint Ephrem the Syrian

PRAYER OF POPE PIUS XII
This prayer, dedicated to Mary Immaculate, was composed by the Pope for the Marian Year (December 8, 1953-December 8, 1954), which was proclaimed to mark the centenary of the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

Enraptured by the splendor of your heavenly beauty, and impelled by the anxieties of the world, we cast ourselves into your arms, 0 Immacuate Mother of Jesus and our Mother, Mary, confident of finding in your most loving heart appeasement of our ardent desires, and a safe harbor from the tempests which beset us on every side.

Though degraded by our faults and overwhelmed by infinite misery, we admire and praise the peerless richness of sublime gifts with which God has filled you, above every other mere creature, from the first moment of your conception until the day on which, after your assumption into heaven, He crowned you Queen of the Universe.

O crystal fountain of faith, bathe our minds with the eternal truths! O fragrant Lily of all holiness, captivate our hearts with your heavenly perfume! 0 Conqueress of evil and death, inspire in us a deep horror of sin, which makes the soul detestable to God and a slave of hell!

O well-beloved of God, hear the ardent cry which rises up from every heart. Bend tenderly over our aching wounds. Convert the wicked, dry the tears of the afflicted and oppressed, comfort the poor and humble, quench hatreds, sweeten harshness, safeguard the flower of purity in youth, protect the holy Church, make all men feel the attraction of Christian goodness. In your name, resounding harmoniously in heaven, may they recognize that they are brothers, and that the nations are members of one family, upon which may there shine forth the sun of a universal and sincere peace.

Receive, O most sweet Mother, our humble supplications, and above all obtain for us that, one day, happy with you, we may repeat before your throne that hymn which today is sung on earth around your altars: You are all-beautiful, O Mary! You are the glory, you are the joy, you are the honor of our people! Amen.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

The Corona of the Immaculate Conception [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Caucus: Immaculate Conception Novena Prayer Thread
New chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Lebanon at National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Feast of the The Conception by St. Anna of the Most Holy Theotokos December 9th
On the Immaculate Conception
Immaculate Mary: "Trust Jesus, he will save you" (Catholic Caucus)
I Love that Woman! My Unworthy Reflections on The Immaculate Conception

LAND OF MARY IMMACULATE [Ecumenical]
Mary as the New Eve - St. Irenaeus
Mary - the Immaculate Ark of the New Covenant [Catholic Caucus]
THE LIFE OF BLESSED JOHN DUNS SCOTUS, Defender of the Immaculate Conception [Catholic Caucus]
An Unfathomable Marian Richness [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Immaculate Conception of Mary
History of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception - December 8 [Catholic Caucus]
Preserved Sinless from the Moment of Humanity (Dogma of the Immaculate Conception) [Catholic Caucus]
I Love that Woman! My Unworthy Reflections on The Immaculate Conception [Catholic Caucus]
Father Marquette's Devotion to the Immaculate Conception (Catholic Caucus)

St. John Neumann and the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (Catholic Caucus)
Our Jewish Roots: The Immaculate Conception [Ecumenical]
And It Was Night. The Real Story of Original Sin [Ecumenical]
I Love that Woman! My Unworthy Reflections on The Immaculate Conception
Mary Immaculate: Patroness of the United States [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Catholic/Orthodox Caucus: The Immaculate Conception: A Marvelous Theme - Novena Starts Nov. 30
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION - Satan's Mighty Foe(Catholic Caucus)
Ark of the new covenant
Historian reveals how Pius IX decided to proclaim dogma of Immaculate Conception (Catholic Caucus)
The Immaculate Vs. the Proud

Immaculate Conception Novena -- starts November 30th [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Blessed John Duns Scotus Champion Of Mary's Immaculate Conception (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
The Crusade of Mary Immaculate - St. Maximilian Kolbe (Catholic Caucus)
The Early Church Fathers on the Immaculate Conception - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus
Three Reasons the Church’s Enemies Hate The Immaculate Conception
Her saving grace - the origins of the Immaculate Conception
Mary Is a Model Who Works With Us and in Us
U.S. Catholic bishops to renew consecration of nation to Immaculate Conception
Catholic Meditation: To the Immaculate Conception on this Election Day
Saint Bernadette of Lourdes (Sermon from 1934)

My visit to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
On Solemnity of Immaculate Conception - "In Mary Shines the Eternal Goodness of the Creator"
The Belief of Catholics concerning the Blessed Virgin: the Second Eve
Pope makes pilgrimage to Mary statue in Rome, marking the feast of the Immaculate Conception
Pope: Mary the Immaculate Conception... (text of BXVI speech)
"Tota pulchra es, Maria, et macula originalis non est in te" (The Immaculate Conception)
The Immaculate Conception — Essential to the Faith
"Who Are You, Immaculate Conception?"
TURKEY Ephesus: The Feast of the Immaculate Conception at Mary’s House
Coming Dec 8th. Feast of the "Immaculate Conception"

Why the Immaculate Conception?
Catholic Encyclopedia: Immaculate Conception (The Doctrine and Its Roots)
The Immaculate Conception of Our Lady December 8
Mary's Immaculate Conception: A Memorable Anniversary
Ineffabilis Deus: 8 December 1854 (Dogma of the Immaculate Conception)
Why do we believe in the Immaculate Conception?
John Paul II goes to Lourdes; reflections on the Immaculate Conception
Your Praises We Sing--on the Dogma of the Proclamation of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8th
Eastern Christianity and the Immaculate Conception (Q&A From EWTN)
Memorandum on the Immaculate Conception [Newman]

16 posted on 12/29/2011 10:10:07 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

December, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI's Intentions

General Intention: That the nations of the earth, through knowledge and mutual respect, may grow in harmony and peace.

Missionary Intention: That children and young people may be messengers of the Gospel and that their dignity may always be respected and preserved from all violence and exploitation.


17 posted on 12/29/2011 10:10:52 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Ioannes Paulus PP.II 16.X.1978 - 2.IV.2005

Ioannes Paulus PP. II
Karol Wojtyla
16.X.1978 - 2.IV.2005

The best, the surest , and the most effective way of establishing everlasting peace on the face of the earth is through the great power of perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament." -- Pope John Paul II

First_Sorrowful_Mystery

"Could you not watch one hour?" -- Mark 14:37

I am happy to testify that many young people are discovering the beauty of adoration, whether personal or in community. I invite priests to encourage youth groups in this, but also to accompany them to ensure that the forms of adoration are appropriate and dignified, with sufficient times for silence and listening to the word of God. In life today, which is often noisy and scattered, it is more important than ever to recover the capacity for interior silence and recollection: Eucharistic adoration permits one to do this not only within one's "I" but rather in the company of that "You" full of love who is Jesus Christ, "the God who is near us."
 
~Pope Benedict XVI


18 posted on 12/29/2011 10:12:02 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
 

Reasons for Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration(Catholic Caucus)
'We Are a Church On Fire': Eucharistic Adoration Transforms Acushnet Parish
Eucharistic Adoration [for college students nationwide]
Pray Unceasingly: Perpetual Adoration as a Necessary Antidote to Abortion

[CATHOLIC CAUCUS] There is water here (Eucharistic Adoration)
Eucharistic Adoration is Life Changing
Here is Christ! (Daily Holy Hour) [Catholic Caucus]
Letter to a Brother Priest [on Eucharistic adoration]
ND’s McBrien: Eucharistic Adoration “is a...spiritual step backward” (Catholic Caucus)
Adoration with no end: 24-hour Eucharistic ritual returns to Boston [Catholic Caucus]
Kansas parish opens adoration chapel
Perpetual adoration returns to Boston after 40 year absence [Catholic Caucus]
I Fall To My Knees (A Reflection on Eucharistic Adoration)
A Chinese Girl-True Story That Inspired Bishop Fulton Sheen- Eucharist Adoration (Catholic Caucus)

Eucharistic Adoration increases prayer, vocations in Uganda(Catholic Caucus)
Faithful Invited to Follow Pope, Adore Eucharist [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Caucus: The Hour That Makes My Day | Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
A Shepherd Speaks (Eucharistic Adoration) -- Bishop Edward J. Slattery [Catholic Caucus]
Why Eucharistic Adoration?(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
The Core of Monasticism Is Adoration [Catholic Caucus](Homily of Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday
Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration: a Parish's Fuel
The History of Eucharistic Adoration Development of Doctrine in the Catholic Church
The Cease-Fire of Prayer and Fasting
Eucharistic Adoration: The Early Years

Catholic Meditation and Devotion: The Holy Hour
Spend Some Time With Jesus Tonight...
The Eucharistic Mystery Calls For Our Response
Pope Backs Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration
Eucharistic adoration is key, but also has drawbacks, bishops say
Eucharistic adoration: Intimacy with Christ
The Gaze [Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament]
St. Francis of Assisi and Eucharistic Adoration
Ancient Roman Catholic ritual making a comeback in Minnesota
Adoration for Vocations to be Promoted Worldwide

POPE GRANTS PLENARY INDULGENCE FOR YEAR OF THE EUCHARIST
New Plenary Indulgence to Mark Year of the Eucharist
The Adoration of the Name of Jesus (El Greco)
Adoration Tally Presented to Pope by Vocation.com
In The Presence Of The Lord
2.2 Million hours of prayer, and counting
Eucharistic Adoration or Abortion?
Bishop Calls for Perpetual Adoration of Eucharist
What I learned From a Muslim about Eucharistic Adoration
PERPETUAL ADORATION


19 posted on 12/29/2011 10:13:07 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
FIRST FRIDAY DEVOTION: Devotions to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The First Friday Devotion in the Catholic Church [Catholic Caucus]
First Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus [St. Margaret Mary Alacoque]
As a New Year Begins Chance to Start 2006 with 'First Friday' Devotions

20 posted on 12/29/2011 10:14:48 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Friday, December 30, 2011
The Holy Family (Feast)
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Sirach 3:2-7, 12-14
Psalm 128:1-5
Colossians 3:12-21 or 3:12-17
Luke 2:22-40 or 2:22, 39-40

Mary's viginity and giving birth, and even the Lord's death escaped the notice of the prince of this world; these three mysteries worthy of proclamation were accomplished in God's silence.

-- St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Epesius 19:1



21 posted on 12/29/2011 10:28:27 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



The Angelus 

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: 
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. 

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary . . . 


Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray: 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen. 


22 posted on 12/29/2011 10:30:05 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Dec 30, Invitatory – Feast for Holy Family

Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who was obedient to Mary and Joseph.

Psalm 95

Come, let us sing to the Lord
and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us.
Let us approach him with praise and thanksgiving
and sing joyful songs to the Lord.

Ant.

The Lord is God, the mighty God,
the great king over all the gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth
and the highest mountains as well
He made the sea; it belongs to him,
the dry land, too, for it was formed by his hands.

Ant.

Come, then, let us bow down and worship,
bending the knee before the Lord, our maker,
For he is our God and we are his people,
the flock he shepherds.

Ant.

Today, listen to the voice of the Lord:
Do not grow stubborn, as your fathers did in the wilderness,
when at Meriba and Massah they challenged me and provoked me,
Although they had seen all of my works.

Ant.

Forty years I endured that generation.
I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray
and they do not know my ways.”
So I swore in my anger,
“They shall not enter into my rest.”

Ant.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ, the Son of God, who was obedient to Mary and Joseph.

23 posted on 12/30/2011 1:53:14 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: Salvation

Dec 30, Office of Readings – Feast for Holy Family

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. I:
Ordinary: 649
Proper of Seasons: 424
Psalms from the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 1328

Christian Prayer:
Does not contain Office of Readings.

Office of Readings for the Feast of the Holy Family

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

Did you wonder where he’d lead you?
Were you afraid of what the world might say?
I feel you understand my fears today
I feel you standing by my side.

You taught the child to be a man
A man whose life my freedom won,
Yours was the shoulder that he rested on
You have the Savoir in your arms.

St Joseph pray for me that I may live my life with Jesus as you did
St Joseph pray for me that at the hour of my death He may hold me
St Joseph pray for me,
That I may follow where the Spirit leads me
Chaste husband of the Virgin wife
Wise guardian of the Bread of Life,
The One beheld the Son of God
St Joseph pray for me!

The little hands that played with wood
The little boy who you called “son”,
You always knew he was the chosen one
Who’d one day hang upon a cross.

Yet you lived to do the Father’s will
Fearlessly followed His commands,
You were the loving and gentle man
He chose to guide his precious One.

St Joseph pray for me that I may live my life with Jesus as you did
St Joseph pray for me that at the hour of my death He may hold me
St Joseph pray for me,
That I may follow where the Spirit leads me
Chaste husband of the Virgin wife
Wise guardian of the Bread of Life,
The One beheld the Son of God
St Joseph pray for me!

“Prayer to St. Joseph (Husband of Mary)” Sung by Angelina is available from Amazon.com

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 When his parents brought the Child Jesus into the temple, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God.

Psalm 24

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,
the world and all its peoples.
It is he who set it on the seas;
on the waters he made it firm.

Ant.

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who shall stand in his holy place?
The man with clean hands and pure heart,
who desires not worthless things,
who has not sworn so as to deceive his neighbor.

Ant.

He shall receive blessings from the Lord
and reward from the God who saves him
Such are the men who seek him,
seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Ant.

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors.
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Ant.

Who is the king of glory?
The Lord, the mighty, the valiant,
the Lord, the valiant in war.

Ant.

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors.
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Ant.

Who is he, the king of glory?
He, the Lord of armies,
he is the king of glory.

Ant.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. When his parents brought the Child Jesus into the temple, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God.

Ant. 2 The Magi entered the house and found the child with Mary, his mother.

Psalm 46

God is for us a refuge and strength,
a helper close at hand, in time of distress,
so we shall not fear though the earth should rock,
though the mountains fall into the depths of the sea;
even though its waters rage and foam,
even though the mountains be shaken by its waves.

Ant.

The Lord of hosts is with us:
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Ant.

The waters of a river give joy to God’s city,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within, it cannot be shaken;
God will help it at the dawning of the day.
Nations are in tumult, kingdoms are shaken:
he lifts his voice, the earth shrinks away.

Ant.

The Lord of hosts is with us:
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Ant.

Come, consider the works of the Lord,
the redoubtable deeds he has done on the earth.
He puts an end to wars over all the earth;
the bow he breaks, the spear he snaps.
He burns the shields with fire.
Be still and know that I am God,
supreme among the nations, supreme on the earth!”

Ant.

The Lord of hosts is with us:
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Ant.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. The Magi entered the house and found the child with Mary, his mother.

Ant. 3 Joseph rose in the night and took the child and his mother into Egypt.

Psalm 87

On the holy mountain is his city
cherished by the Lord.
The Lord prefers the gates of Zion
to all Jacob’s dwellings.
Of you are told glorious things,
O city of God!

Ant.

Babylon and Egypt I will count
among those who know me;
Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia,
these will be her children
and Zion shall be called Mother
for all shall be her children.”

Ant.

It is he, the Lord Most High,
who gives each his place.
In his register of peoples he writes:
These are her children,
and while they dance they will sing:
In you all find their home.

Ant.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Joseph rose in the night and took the child and his mother into Egypt.

Sacred Silence (indicated by a bell)
A moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

Your children will be taught by the Lord himself.
He will bless them with fullness of peace.

READINGS

First reading
From the letter of the apostle Paul to the Ephesians
5:21—6:4
Christian life in the family and in society

Defer to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Wives should be submissive to their husbands as if to the Lord because the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of his body the church, as well as its savior. As the church submits to Christ, so wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church. He gave himself up for her to make her holy, purifying her in the bath of water by the power of the word, to present to himself a glorious church, holy and immaculate, without stain or wrinkle or anything of that sort. Husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

Observe that no one ever hates his own flesh; no, he nourishes it and takes care of it as Christ cares for the church—for we are members of his body.

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother,
and shall cling to his wife, and the two shall be made into one.”

This is a great foreshadowing; I mean that it refers to Christ and the church. In any case, each one should love his wife as he loves himself, the wife for her part showing respect for her husband.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for that is what is expected of you. “Honor your father and mother” is the first commandment to carry a promise with it — “that it may go well with you, and that you may have long life on the earth.”

Fathers, do not anger your children. Bring them up with the training and instruction befitting the Lord.

RESPONSORY Ephesians 6:1-2; Luke 2:51

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for that is your duty;
honor your father and your mother.

Jesus returned with Mary and Joseph to Nazareth; there he lived and was obedient to them.
Honor your father and your mother.

Second reading
From an address by Pope Paul VI
Nazareth, a model

Nazareth is a kind of school where we may begin to discover what Christ’s life was like and even to understand his Gospel. Here we can observe and ponder the simple appeal of the way God’s Son came to be known, profound yet full of hidden meaning. And gradually we may even learn to imitate him.

Here we can learn to realize who Christ really is. And here we can sense and take account of the conditions and circumstances that surrounded and affected his life on earth: the places, the tenor of the times, the culture, the language, religious customs, in brief everything which Jesus used to make himself known to the world. Here everything speaks to us, everything has meaning. Here we can learn the importance of spiritual discipline for all who wish to follow Christ and to live by the teachings of his Gospel.

How I would like to return to my childhood and attend the simple yet profound school that is Nazareth! How wonderful to be close to Mary, learning again the lesson of the true meaning of life, learning again God’s truths. But here we are only on pilgrimage. Time presses and I must set aside my desire to stay and carry on my education in the Gospel, for that education is never finished. But I cannot leave without recalling, briefly and in passing, some thoughts I take with me from Nazareth.

First, we learn from its silence. If only we could once again appreciate its great value. We need this wonderful state of mind, beset as we are by the cacophony of strident protests and conflicting claims so characteristic of these turbulent times. The silence of Nazareth should teach us how to meditate in peace and quiet, to reflect on the deeply spiritual, and to be open to the voice of God’s inner wisdom and the counsel of his true teachers. Nazareth can teach us the value of study and preparation, of meditation, of a well-ordered personal spiritual life, and of silent prayer that is known only to God.

Second, we learn about family life. May Nazareth serve as a model of what the family should be. May it show us the family’s holy and enduring character and exemplifying its basic function in society: a community of love and sharing, beautiful for the problems it poses and the rewards it brings; in sum, the perfect setting for rearing children—and for this there is no substitute.

Finally, in Nazareth, the home of a craftsman’s son, we learn about work and the discipline it entails. I would especially like to recognize its value—demanding yet redeeming—and to give it proper respect. I would remind everyone that work has its own dignity. On the other hand, it is not an end in itself. Its value and free character, however, derive not only from its place in the economic system, as they say, but rather from the purpose it serves.

In closing, may I express my deep regard for people everywhere who work for a living. To them I would point out their great model, Christ their brother, our Lord and God, who is their prophet in every cause that promotes their well being.

RESPONSORY 2 Corinthians 13:11; Ephesians 5:9; Colossians 3:23

Have a rejoicing heart, try to grow holy, help one another, keep united, live in peace.
Sing and make music to the Lord in your hearts.

What ever you do, put your whole self into it, as if for the Lord and not for men.
Sing and make music to the Lord in your hearts.

TE DEUM

You are God: we praise you;
You are the Lord: we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father:
All creation worships you.

To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you.
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.

Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you:
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all worship,
and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the King of glory,
the eternal Son of the Father.

When you became man to set us free
you did not spurn the Virgin’s womb.

You overcame the sting of death,
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.
We believe that you will come, and be our judge.

Come then, Lord, and help your people,
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints
to glory everlasting.

Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance.
Govern and uphold them now and always.

Day by day we bless you.
We praise your name for ever.

Keep us today, Lord, from all sin.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.

Lord, show us your love and mercy,
for we have put our trust in you.

In you, Lord, is our hope:
And we shall never hope in vain.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

O God,
who were pleased to give us
the shining example of the Holy Family,
graciously grant that we may imitate them
in practicing the virtues of family life
and in the bonds of charity,
and so, in the joy of your house,
delight one day in eternal rewards.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

ACCLAMATION (only added when praying in community)

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.

24 posted on 12/30/2011 1:53:17 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: Salvation

Dec 30, Morning Prayer – Feast for Holy Family

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. I:
Ordinary: 653
Propers: 428
Psalter: Sunday, Week I, 686

Christian Prayer:
Ordinary: 689
Propers: 154
Psalter: Sunday, Week I, 706

Morning Prayer for the Feast of the Holy Family

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

Virgin-born, we bow before thee:
blessed was the womb that bore thee;
Mary, Mother meek and mild,
blessed was she in her Child.
Blessed was the breast that fed thee;
blessed was the hand that led thee;
blessed was the parent’s eye
that watched thy slumbering infancy.

Blessed she by all creation,
who brought forth the world’s salvation,
and blessed they, for ever blest,
who love thee most and serve thee best.
Virgin-born, we bow before thee;
blessed was the womb that bore thee;
Mary, Mother meek and mild,
blessed was she in her Child.

Words: Reginald Heber, 1827; Music: Genevan Psalm 86 (Mon Dieu, Prete-moi l’Oreille), Urquell aller Seligkeiten; Meter: 88 77 D
Virgin-born, we bow before thee by Wakefield Cathedral Choir is available from Amazon.com

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 The parents of Jesus went each year to Jerusalem for the solemn feast of Passover.

Psalm 63:2-9
A soul thirsting for God

Whoever has left the darkness of sin yearns for God.

O God, you are my God, for you I long;
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
to see your strength and your glory.

Ant.

For your love is better than life,
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life,
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet,
my mouth shall praise you with joy.

Ant.

On my bed I remember you.
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help;
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand holds me fast.

Ant.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. The parents of Jesus went each year to Jerusalem for the solemn feast of Passover.

Ant. 2 The child grew in wisdom and strength, and the favor of God was upon him.

Canticle – Daniel 3:57-88, 56
Let all creatures praise the Lord

All you servants of the Lord, sing praise to him (Revelation 19:5).

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord.
You heavens, bless the Lord.
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord.
All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Sun and moon, bless the Lord.
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.

Ant.

Every shower and dew, bless the Lord.
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord.
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord.
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord.
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord.
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord.

Ant.

Let the earth bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord.
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord.
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord.
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord.
You sons of men, bless the Lord.

Ant.

O Israel, bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord.
Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.
Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.

Ant.

Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Let us praise and exalt him above all forever.
Blessed are you, Lord, in the firmament of heaven.
Praiseworthy and glorious and exalted above all forever.

Ant. The child grew in wisdom and strength, and the favor of God was upon him.

Ant. 3 His father and mother were full of wonder at what was said about their child.

Psalm 149
The joy of God’s holy people.

Let the sons of the Church, the children of the new people, rejoice in Christ, their King (Hesychius).

Sing a new song to the Lord,
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its maker,
let Zion’s sons exult in their king.
Let them praise his name with dancing
and make music with timbrel and harp.

Ant.

For the Lord takes delight in his people.
He crowns the poor with salvation.
Let the faithful rejoice in their glory,
shout for joy and take their rest.
Let the praise of God be on their lips
and a two-edged sword in their hand,

to deal out vengeance to the nations
and punishment on all the peoples;
to bind their kings in chains
and their nobles in fetters of iron;
to carry out the sentence pre-ordained;
this honor is for all his faithful.

Ant.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. His father and mother were full of wonder at what was said about their child.

READING Deuteronomy 5:16

Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord, your God, has commanded you, that you may have a long life and prosperity in the land which the Lord, your God, is giving you.

Sacred Silence (indicated by a bell) – a moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

RESPONSORY

Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on us.
Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on us.

You were obedient to Mary and Joseph,
have mercy on us.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on us.

CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH

Ant. Lord, give us light through the example of your family and guide our feet into the way of peace.

Luke 1:68 – 79
The Messiah and his forerunner

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Lord, give us light through the example of your family and guide our feet into the way of peace.

INTERCESSIONS

Let us adore the Son of the living God who humbled himself to become a son of a human family, and let us beseech him:
Jesus, you became obedient; sanctify us.

Jesus, eternal Word of the Father, you made yourself subject to Mary and Joseph, teach us humility.
Jesus, you became obedient; sanctify us.

You are our teacher, and your own mother pondered in her heart every one of your words and deeds, make us attentive to your word, and let us ponder it in hearts that are pure and good.
Jesus, you became obedient; sanctify us.

Christ, by your work the world was made, but you were willing to be called a worker’s son, teach us to work diligently.
Jesus, you became obedient; sanctify us.

Jesus, in the family at Nazareth you grew in wisdom, age, and grace before God and men, help us to grow in all things toward you, our Head.
Jesus, you became obedient; sanctify us.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Concluding Prayer

O God,
who were pleased to give us
the shining example of the Holy Family,
graciously grant that we may imitate them
in practicing the virtues of family life
and in the bonds of charity,
and so, in the joy of your house,
delight one day in eternal rewards.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

DISMISSAL

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

25 posted on 12/30/2011 1:53:23 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: Salvation

Dec 30, Sext – Feast for Holy Family

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. I:
Ordinary: 658
Proper of Seasons: 431 (Midday)
Psalter: Friday, Week I, 773

Midday Prayer (Sext) for the Feast of Holy Family, using the Current Psalmody

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

O heavenly Word, eternal Light,
begotten of the Father’s might,
who in these latter days wast born
for blessing to a world forlorn;

pour light upon us from above,
and fire our hearts with ardent love,
that, as we hear thy truth today,
all wrong may burn away;

and when, as judge, thou drawest nigh
the secrets of our hearts to try,
to recompense each hidden sin
and bid the saints their reign begin;

O let us not, for evil past,
be driven from thy face at last,
but with thy saints for evermore
behold thee, love thee, and adore.

To God the Father, God the Son
and God the Spirit ever one,
Praise, honor, might and glory be
from age to age eternally.

“O Heavenly Word, Eternal Light” performed by The Schola Cantorum of St. Peter’s in the Loop Words: Verbum supernum prodiens, Attributed to St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), ca. 1263

PSALMODY

Ant. Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.

Psalm 119:25-32
IV (Daleth)

My soul lies in the dust;
by your word revive me.
I declared my ways and you answered:
teach me your statutes.

Make me grasp the way of your precepts
and I will muse on your wonders.
My soul pines away with grief;
by your word raise me up.

Keep me from the way of error
and teach me your law.
I have chosen the way of truth
with your decrees before me.

I bind myself to do your will;
Lord, do not disappoint me.
I will run the way of your commands;
you give freedom to my heart.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer

Lord, we are citizens of this earth and ask to be made citizens of heaven by your free gift. Help us to run in the way of your commandments and to set our hearts on ou alone.

Psalm 26
Trusting prayer of an innocent man

God chose us in Christ to be holy and sinless (Ephesians 1:4).

Give judgment for me, O Lord:
for I walk the path of perfection.
I trust in the Lord; I have not wavered.

Examine me, Lord, and try me;
O test my heart and my mind,
for your love is before my eyes
and I walk according to your truth.

I never take my place with liars
and with hypocrites I shall not go.
I hate the evil-doer’s company:
I will not take my place with the wicked.

To prove my innocence I wash my hands
and take my place around your altar,
singing a song of thanksgiving,
proclaiming all your wonders.

O Lord, I love the house where you dwell,
the place where your glory abides.

Do not sweep me away with sinners,
nor my life with bloodthirsty men
in whose hands are evil plots,
whose right hands are filled with gold.

As for me, I walk the path of perfection.
Redeem me and show me your mercy.
My foot stands on level ground:
I will bless the Lord in the assembly.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer

Send the fire of your Holy Spirit deep within us, Lord, so that we can serve you with chaste bodies and please you with pure minds.

Psalm 28:1-3, 6-9
Entreaty and thanksgiving

Father, I thank you, for you have heard my prayer ( John 11:41).

To you, O Lord, I call,
my rock, hear me.
If you do not heed I shall become
like those in the grave.

Hear the voice of my pleading
as I call for help,
as I lift up my hands in prayer
to your holy place.

Do not drag me away with the wicked,
with the evil-doers,
who speak words of peace to their neighbors
but with evil in their hearts.

Blessed be the Lord for he has heard
my cry, my appeal.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts.

I was helped, my heart rejoices
and I praise him with my song.

The Lord is the strength of his people,
a fortress where his anointed find salvation.
Save your people; bless Israel your heritage.
Be their shepherd and carry them for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer

You are the strength of the people, Father. Save us from the pit of death and unite us as one in your holy temple, so that we may attain in our hearts the peace our tongues proclaim.

Ant. Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.

READING Colossians 3:14-15

Over all these virtues put on love, which binds the rest together and makes them perfect. Christ’s peace must reign in your hearts, since as members of one body you have been called to that peace. Dedicate yourselves to thankfulness.

Sacred Silence (indicated by a bell)
A moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

I am a poor man. I have worked since my youth.
I was raised up only to be brought low and left bewildered.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

O God, who were pleased to give us
the shining example of the Holy Family,
graciously grant that we may imitate them
in practicing the virtues of family life and in the bonds of charity,
and so, in the joy of your house,
delight one day in eternal rewards.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

ACCLAMATION (only added when praying in community)

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.

26 posted on 12/30/2011 1:53:29 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: Salvation

Dec 30, Evening Prayer II – Feast for Holy Family

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. I:
Ordinary: 667
Propers: 432
Psalms from the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 1345

Christian Prayer:
Ordinary: 694
Propers: 156
Psalms from the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 1378

Evening Prayer II for the Feast of the Holy Family

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

Sing of Mary, pure and lowly:
Virgin mother, undefiled.
Sing of God’s own Son, Most Holy,
Who became her little child.

Fairest child of fairest mother:
God the Lord, Who came to earth:
Word made flesh, our very brother,
Takes our nature by His birth.

Sing of Jesus, son of Mary:
In the home at Nazareth:
Toil and labour cannot weary
Love enduring unto death.

Constant was the love He gave her:
Though He went forth from her side:
Forth to preach and heal and suffer,
Till on Calvary He died.

Glory be to God the Father.
Glory be to God the Son.
Glory be to God the Spirit.
Glory to the Three in One.

“Sing of Mary, pure and lowly” performed by Gretchen Harris; Text: William Chatterton Dix, 1837-1898; Music: 16th Century English Melody;
Sing of Mary by Gretchen Harris is available from Amazon.com

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 After three days, Jesus was found in the temple, seated in the midst of the doctors, listening to them and asking them questions.

Psalm 122

I rejoiced when I heard them say:
“Let us go to God’s house.”
And now our feet are standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is built as a city
strongly compact.
It is there that the tribes go up,
the tribes of the Lord.

For Israel’s law it is,
there to praise the Lord’s name.
There were set the thrones of judgment
of the house of David.

For the peace of Jerusalem pray:
“Peace be to your homes!
May peace reign in your walls,
in your palaces, peace!”

For love of my brethren and friends
I say: “Peace upon you!”
For love of the house of the Lord
I will ask for your good.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. After three days, Jesus was found in the temple, seated in the midst of the doctors, listening to them and asking them questions.

Ant. 2 Jesus returned with Mary and Joseph to Nazareth; there he lived and was obedient to them.

Psalm 127

If the Lord does not build the house,
in vain do its builders labor;
if the Lord does not watch over the city,
in vain does the watchman keep vigil.

In vain is your earlier rising,
your going later to rest,
you who toil for the bread you eat:
when he pours gifts on his beloved while they slumber.

Truly sons are a gift from the Lord,
a blessing, the fruit of the womb.
Indeed the sons of youth
are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.

O the happiness of the man
who has filled his quiver with these arrows!
He will have no cause for shame
when he disputes with his foes in the gateways.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Jesus returned with Mary and Joseph to Nazareth; there he lived and was obedient to them.

Ant. 3 Jesus grew in wisdom with the years and was pleasing to God and men.

Canticle — Ephesians 1:3-10
God our Savior

Praised be the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has bestowed on us in Christ
every spiritual blessing in the heavens.

God chose us in him
before the world began
to be holy
and blameless in his sight.

He predestined us
to be his adopted sons through Jesus Christ,
such was his will and pleasure,
that all might praise the glorious favor
he has bestowed on us in his beloved.

In him and through his blood, we have been redeemed,
and our sins forgiven,
so immeasurably generous
is God’s favor to us.

God has given us the wisdom
to understand fully the mystery,
the plan he was pleased
to decree in Christ.

A plan to be carried out
in Christ, in the fullness of time,
to bring all things into one in him,
in the heavens and on earth.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Jesus grew in wisdom with the years and was pleasing to God and men.

READING Philippians 2:6-7

Though he was in the form of God, Christ Jesus did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at. Rather he emptied himself and took the form of a slave, being born in the likeness of men. He was known to be of human estate.

Sacred Silence (indicated by a bell)
A moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

RESPONSORY

He had to become like his brothers in every way to show the fullness of his mercy.
He had to become like his brothers in every way to show the fullness of his mercy.

He was seen on earth and lived among men and women,
to show the fullness of his mercy.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
He had to become like his brothers in every way to show the fullness of his mercy.

CANTICLE OF MARY

Ant. Son, why have you done this to us? Think what anguish your father and I have endured looking for you. But why did you look for me? Did you not know that I had to be in my Father’s house?

Luke 1:46-55
The soul rejoices in the Lord

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Son, why have you done this to us? Think what anguish your father and I have endured looking for you. But why did you look for me? Did you not know that I had to be in my Father’s house?

INTERCESSIONS

Let us adore the Son of the living God who humbled himself to become a son of a human family, and let us proclaim:
Lord, you are the model and Savior of all.

Christ, by the mystery of your subjection to Mary and Joseph,
teach all people reverence and obedience to lawful authority.
Lord, you are the model and Savior of all.

You loved your parents and were loved by them,
establish our families in mutual love and peace.
Lord, you are the model and Savior of all.

You were eager to be about your Father’s business,
may he be honored in every home.
Lord, you are the model and Savior of all.

Christ, after three days your anxious parents found you in your Father’s house,
teach all to seek first the kingdom of God.
Lord, you are the model and Savior of all.

Christ, you have made Mary and Joseph sharers in heavenly glory,
admit the dead into the family of the blessed.
Lord, you are the model and Savior of all.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Concluding Prayer

O God,
who were pleased to give us
the shining example of the Holy Family,
graciously grant that we may imitate them
in practicing the virtues of family life
and in the bonds of charity,
and so, in the joy of your house,
delight one day in eternal rewards.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

DISMISSAL

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

27 posted on 12/30/2011 1:53:37 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: Salvation

Dec 30, Night Prayer for Friday of the 1st week of Christmas

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours:
Vol I, page 1185
Vol II, Page 1642
Vol III, Page 1285
Vol IV, Page 1249

Christian Prayer:
Page 1052

General instruction:
Please pray with us actively, especially by joining with us in saying antiphons and responses, most of which are indicated in this highlight.

Consider an examination of your own conscience before beginning to best make use of our time together in prayer.

Night Prayer for Friday

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

Examination of conscience:

We are called to have a clear conscience toward God and toward men, in our hearts and in our minds, in our actions and inactions. To do so, it is vital that we examine our conscience daily and to ask for God’s mercy as we fall short and to ask for His strength to do better.

I confess to almighty God,
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have sinned through my own fault
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done,
and in what I have failed to do;
and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin,
all the angels and saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.

HYMN

Peace be to you and grace from Him
Who freed us from our sin
Who loved us all, and shed his blood
That we might saved be.
Sing holy, holy to our Lord
The Lord almighty God
Who was and is, and is to come
Sing holy, holy Lord.
Rejoice in heaven,
all ye that dwell therein
Rejoice on earth, ye saints below
For Christ is coming,
Is coming soon
For Christ is coming soon.
E’en so Lord Jesus quickly come
And night shall be no more
They need no light, no lamp, nor sun
For Christ will be their All!

E’en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come by Choir of The Cathedral of the Madeleine & The Madeleine Choir School

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Day and night I cry to you, my God.

Psalm 88
Prayer of a sick person

This is your hour when darkness reigns (Luke 22:53).

Lord my God, I call for help by day;
I cry at night before you.
Let my prayer come into your presence.
O turn your ear to my cry.

For my soul is filled with evils;
my life is on the brink of the grave.
I am reckoned as one in the tomb;
I have reached the end of my strength,

Like one alone among the dead,
like the slain lying in their graves,
like those you remember no more,
cut off, as they are, from your hand.

You have laid me in the depths of the tomb,
in places that are dark, in the depths.
Your anger weighs down upon me;
I am drowned beneath your waves.

You have taken away my friends
and made me hateful in their sight.
Imprisoned, I cannot escape;
my eyes are sunken with grief.

I call to you, Lord, all the day long;
to you I stretch out my hands.
Will you work your wonders for the dead?
Will the shades stand and praise you?

Will your love be told in the grave
or your faithfulness among the dead?
Will your wonders be known in the dark
or your justice in the land of oblivion?

As for me, Lord, I call to you for help;
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
Lord, why do you reject me?
Why do you hide your face?

Wretched, close to death from my youth,
I have borne your trials; I am numb.
Your fury has swept down upon me;
your terrors have utterly destroyed me.

They surround me all the day like a flood,
they assail me all together.
Friend and neighbor you have taken away:
my one companion is darkness.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Day and night I cry to you, my God.

READING Jeremiah 14:9a

You are in our midst, O Lord,
your name we bear:
do not forsake us, O Lord, our God!

RESPONSORY

Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
I commend my spirit.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

Gospel Canticle

Ant. Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace.

Luke 2:29-32
Christ is the light of the nations and the glory of Israel

Lord, now you let your servant go in peace;
your word has been fulfilled:

my own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared in the sight of every people:

a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace.

Concluding Prayer

All-powerful God
keep us united with your Son
in his death and burial
so that we may rise to new life with him,
who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Amen.

Blessing

May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful death.
Amen.

Antiphon or song in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy!
Our life, our sweetness, and our hope!
To you do we cry, poor banished
children of Eve, to you do we send
up our sighs, mourning and weeping
in this valley, of tears.
Turn, then, most gracious advocate,
your eyes of mercy toward us; and
after this our exile show unto us the
blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus;
O clement, O loving, O sweet virgin Mary.

28 posted on 12/30/2011 1:53:46 AM PST by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: All
The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary & Joseph


The Holy Family
Jesus, Mary & Joseph

Feast Day
Sunday within the Octave of Christmas

Sunday After Christmas

When a Sunday does not occur between December 25 and January 1, this feast is celebrated on December 30 with only one reading before the Gospel.


The Holy Family - h h hitchcock (pencil)

Venerunt pastores festinantes, et invenerunt Mariam et Joseph et Infantem positum in praesepio (Luke 2:16)

The shepherds hastened to Bethlehem, where they found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. (Luke 2:16 - Entrance Antiphon)

+ + + + + + + + + + + +

Collect for the Feast of the Holy Family
Scripture Readings
Pope John Paul II's prayer for the Family - 2004
Prayers for the Blessing of a Child, for a Happy Marriage
Directory of Popular Piety | Catechism of the Catholic Church
Church Documents on the Family | "Familiaris Consortio On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World'

+ + + + + + + + + + + +

Collect:

O God, who were pleased to give us
the shining example of the Holy Family,
graciously grant that we may imitate them
in practicing the virtues of family life and in the bonds of charity,
and so, in the joy of your house,
delight one day in eternal rewards.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

Readings for Mass:
RSV-CE translation

First Reading: Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 3: 2-7, 12-14
For the Lord honored the father above the children,
and He confirmed the right of the mother over her sons.
Whoever honors his father atones for sins,
and whoever glorifies his mother
is like one who lays up treasure.
Whoever honors his father will be gladdened by his own children,
and when he prays he will be heard.
Whoever glorifies his father will have long life,
and whoever obeys the Lord will refresh his mother;
he will serve his parents as his masters.

O son, help your father in his old age,
and do not grieve him as long as he lives;
even if he is lacking in understanding, show forbearance;
in all your strength do not despise him.
For kindness to a father will not be forgotten,
and against your sins it will be credited to you.

OR 1 Sm 1:20-22, 24-28
Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, "I have asked him of the LORD." And the man Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the LORD the yearly sacrifice, and to pay his vow. But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, "As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, that he may appear in the presence of the LORD, and abide there for ever."

And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine; and she brought him to the house of the LORD at Shiloh; and the child was young. Then they slew the bull, and they brought the child to Eli. And she said, "Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the LORD. For this child I prayed; and the LORD has granted me my petition which I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he lives, he is lent to the LORD." And they worshiped the LORD there.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 84:2-3, 5-6, 9-10

R. Blessed are they who dwell in your house, O Lord.

My soul longs, yea, faints for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young, at thy altars,
O LORD of hosts, my King and my God.

R. Blessed are they who dwell in your house, O Lord.

5 Blessed are the men whose strength is in thee,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
6 As they go through the valley of Baca they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.

R. Blessed are they who dwell in your house, O Lord.

9 Behold our shield, O God;
look upon the face of thine anointed!
10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

R. Blessed are they who dwell in your house, O Lord.

Second Reading: Col 3:12-21
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience, forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

OR Col 3:12-17
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience, forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

OR 1 John 3:1-2,21-24

See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who keep his commandments abide in him, and he in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us.

Gospel Reading - Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and His mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy Him." And he rose and took the child and His mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, "Out of Egypt have I called My Son."

But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, "Rise, take the child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead." And he rose and took the child and His mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus reigned over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. And he went and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, "He shall be called a Nazarene."

Pope John Paul II - Prayer from Angelus Message for the Feast of the Holy Family 2004

"May the Holy Family, who had to overcome many painful trials, watch over all the families in the world, especially those who are experiencing difficult situations. May the Holy Family also help men and women of culture and political leaders so that they may defend the institution of the family, based on marriage, and so that they may sustain the family as it confronts the grave challenges of the modern age!

"During this Year of the Eucharist may Christian families find the light and strength to be united and to grow as the 'domestic church' especially in their diligent participation in the celebration of the Eucharist on Sunday.

+ + + + + + + + + + + +

The Scripture readings for the Feast of the Holy Family show the love between Mary, Joseph and Jesus, and also tell the mystery of the Incarnate God subjecting Himself to the authority of His earthly parents. Parents might offer a special blessing prayer for their children or for their marriage on this feast. Two such prayers are below:

The Blessing of a Child
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, who came to earth as an infant and thus sanctified childhood, pour the graces of thy blessing upon [Name], thy child, being mindful of the faith and devotion of the Church and of us, his {her} parents; so that, growing in virtue and wisdom before God and men, [Name] may attain a blessed old age and enjoy eternal salvation: Who livest and reignest forever and ever Amen.

A Prayer for a Happy Marriage
Lord Jesus Christ, who by thy presence at the wedding feast at Cana didst bless the state of Holy Matrimony; and by thy love and favor hath raised marriage to the dignity of a sacrament: Grant that we may be ever faithful to the marriage vows that we nave pledged. May all that we do bring us to greater love for each other and for thee. May no act of ours be unworthy in thy sight. May we never forget the ends for which matrimony has been instituted. And especially may we never, through selfishness, defile ourselves and our unity in mutual love by any action displeasing to thee. Teach us to trust in thy gracious mercy. May we gratefully receive children, and train and guide them with wise responsibility in the knowledge of thy love. Grant us the spiritual and temporal means to raise these children according to thy will. And may we worthily receive thy grace and favor through the sacramental bond of marriage. May every expression of our love for one another be united to our love for thee. Who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.
(Adapted from Mother's Manual, by A. Francis Comes, S.J., William J. Hirten Co., Inc., 1984)



From the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy

The Feast of the Holy Family

112. The feast of the holy family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (Sunday in the Christmas octave) is a festive occasion particularly suitable for the celebration of rites or moments of prayer proper to the Christian family. The recollection of Joseph, Mary and Jesus' going up to Jerusalem, together with other observant Jewish families, for the celebration of the Passover (cf. Lk 2:41-42), should normally encourage a positive acceptance of the pastoral suggestion that all members of the family attend Mass on this day. This feast day also affords an opportunity for the renewal of our entrustment to the patronage of the Holy Family of Nazareth(120); the blessing of children as provided in the ritual(121); and where opportune, for the renewal of marriage vows taken by the spouses on their wedding day, and also for the exchange of promises between those engaged to be married in which they formalize their desire to found a new Christian family(122).

Outside of the feast, the faithful have frequent recourse to the Holy Family of Nazareth in many of life's circumstances: joining the Association of the Holy Family so as to model their own families on the Holy Family of Nazareth(123); frequent prayers to entrust themselves to the patronage of the Holy Family and to obtain assistance at the hour of death(124).


From the Catechism of the Catholic Church
533 The hidden life at Nazareth allows everyone to enter into fellowship with Jesus by the most ordinary events of daily life:

The home of Nazareth is the school where we begin to understand the life of Jesus - the school of the Gospel. First, then, a lesson of silence. May esteem for silence, that admirable and indispensable condition of mind, revive in us. . . A lesson on family life. May Nazareth teach us what family life is, its communion of love, its austere and simple beauty, and its sacred and inviolable character... A lesson of work. Nazareth, home of the "Carpenter's Son", in you I would choose to understand and proclaim the severe and redeeming law of human work. . . To conclude, I want to greet all the workers of the world, holding up to them their great pattern their brother who is God.

534 The finding of Jesus in the temple is the only event that breaks the silence of the Gospels about the hidden years of Jesus. Here Jesus lets us catch a glimpse of the mystery of his total consecration to a mission that flows from his divine sonship: "Did you not know that I must be about my Father's work?" Mary and Joseph did not understand these words, but they accepted them in faith. Mary "kept all these things in her heart" during the years Jesus remained hidden in the silence of an ordinary life.




Church Documents on Families

"Twenty years since 'Familiaris Consortio': The Anthropological and Pastoral Dimension" -- Pontifical Council for the Family Conclusions of the Theological-Pastoral Congress (December 20, 2001)

Message on Familiaris Consortio -- 20th Anniversary (November 22, 2001)

Preparation for the Sacrament of Marriage -- Pontifical Council for the Family (May 13, 1996)

The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality -- Guidelines for Education within the Family - Pontifical Council for the Family (December 8, 1995)

The Pastoral Care of the Family -- Message to Pontifical Council on the Family 1992

Charter of the Rights of the Family -- Pontifical Council on the Family (1983)

Familiaris Consortio -- On the Christian Family - Apostolic Exhortation, 1981



Familiaris Consortio -- on the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World by Helen Hull Hitchcock (Nov 1, 2001)

Go to the Article Index for more on the Family!
29 posted on 12/30/2011 8:47:18 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Holy Family - held together by Love through all their problems [Ecumenical]
Feast of the Holy Family: The Christian Family is a Domestic Church
Chesterton on "The Human Family and the Holy Family"
Joseph, Mary and Jesus: A Model Family
ADVICE TO PARENTS by Saint Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
The Holy Family
St. Joseph as Head of the Holy Family (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)

Feast of the Holy Family
Feast of the Holy Family (Dom Guéranger OSB)
The Feast of the Holy Family
The Holy Family vs. The Holy Innocents: A Christmas season reflection [Catholic Caucus]
Vatican creche to place Holy Family in Joseph's carpentry workshop
The Redemption and Protection of the Family [Feast of the Holy Family]
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1606480/posts
Unraveling Jesus' mystery years in Egypt
Gaudi’s Church of the Holy Family to be ready for worship in 2008
Imitating the Holy Family; Four Traits that Make It Possible
Lots of Graphics: Post your favorite image of the St. Mary and Child, the Holy Family...

30 posted on 12/30/2011 8:50:41 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All


Information: Bl. Eugenia Ravasco

Feast Day: December 30
Born: 4 January 1845 in Milan, Italy
Died: 30 December 1900 in Genoa, Italy


31 posted on 12/30/2011 8:58:28 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Anysia


Feast Day: December 30
Born:(around 270) :: Died:(around 304)

Anysia was born in Salonika, Thessalonica in Greece. Thessalonica was an ancient city to which St. Paul himself had first brought the faith of Jesus.

Anysia was a Christian and she came from a rich but pious family. After her parents' death, Anysia took private vows of poverty and chastity and used her wealth to help the poor.

In those days, Christians in Thessalonica were treated very cruelly. The governor was a hard man who wanted to stop all Christians from meeting together for Mass.

But Anysia quietly slipped out one day to try and go to a Christian servoce. As she passed a gate called Cassandra, a guard saw her. Stepping out in front of her, he demanded to know where she was going.

Frightened, Anysia stepped backwards, tracing a cross on her forehead. Immediately the soldier grabbed her and shook her roughly. "Who are you" he shouted. "And where are you going?" Anysia took a deep breath and replied, "I am a servant of Jesus Christ, and I am going to the Lord's assembly."

"Oh yes?" sneered the guard. "I will stop that. I will take you to sacrifice to the sun god. Saying this, he snatched off her veil. Anysia struggled and spat in his face.

Finally, in great anger, he drew his sword and stabbed her with it. The saint fell dead at his feet. When the harassment ended, the Christians of Thessalonica built a church over the spot where St. Anysia had given her life for Christ. Anysia died around 304.


32 posted on 12/30/2011 9:01:41 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic
Almanac:
Friday, December 30
Liturgical Color: White

Today is the Feast of the Holy Family. Because Jesus chose to be raised by Mary and Joseph, He showed the importance of the family. The Church calls the family the domestic Church, charged with the responsibility of witnessing the Christian life.

33 posted on 12/30/2011 5:51:38 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Luke
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Luke 2
22 And after the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord: Et postquam impleti sunt dies purgationis ejus secundum legem Moysi, tulerunt illum in Jerusalem, ut sisterent eum Domino, και οτε επλησθησαν αι ημεραι του καθαρισμου αυτων κατα τον νομον μωσεως ανηγαγον αυτον εις ιεροσολυμα παραστησαι τω κυριω
23 As it is written in the law of the Lord: Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord: sicut scriptum est in lege Domini : Quia omne masculinum adaperiens vulvam, sanctum Domino vocabitur : καθως γεγραπται εν νομω κυριου οτι παν αρσεν διανοιγον μητραν αγιον τω κυριω κληθησεται
24 And to offer a sacrifice, according as it is written in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons: et ut darent hostiam secundum quod dictum est in lege Domini, par turturum, aut duos pullos columbarum. και του δουναι θυσιαν κατα το ειρημενον εν νομω κυριου ζευγος τρυγονων η δυο νεοσσους περιστερων
25 And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Ghost was in him. Et ecce homo erat in Jerusalem, cui nomen Simeon, et homo iste justus, et timoratus, exspectans consolationem Israël : et Spiritus Sanctus erat in eo. και ιδου ην ανθρωπος εν ιερουσαλημ ω ονομα συμεων και ο ανθρωπος ουτος δικαιος και ευλαβης προσδεχομενος παρακλησιν του ισραηλ και πνευμα ην αγιον επ αυτον
26 And he had received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. Et responsum acceperat a Spiritu Sancto, non visurum se mortem, nisi prius videret Christum Domini. και ην αυτω κεχρηματισμενον υπο του πνευματος του αγιου μη ιδειν θανατον πριν η ιδη τον χριστον κυριου
27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when his parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, Et venit in spiritu in templum. Et cum inducerent puerum Jesum parentes ejus, ut facerent secundum consuetudinem legis pro eo, και ηλθεν εν τω πνευματι εις το ιερον και εν τω εισαγαγειν τους γονεις το παιδιον ιησουν του ποιησαι αυτους κατα το ειθισμενον του νομου περι αυτου
28 He also took him into his arms, and blessed God, and said: et ipse accepit eum in ulnas suas : et benedixit Deum, et dixit : και αυτος εδεξατο αυτο εις τας αγκαλας αυτου και ευλογησεν τον θεον και ειπεν
29 Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace; Nunc dimittis servum tuum Domine, secundum verbum tuum in pace : νυν απολυεις τον δουλον σου δεσποτα κατα το ρημα σου εν ειρηνη
30 Because my eyes have seen thy salvation, quia viderunt oculi mei salutare tuum, οτι ειδον οι οφθαλμοι μου το σωτηριον σου
31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: quod parasti ante faciem omnium populorum : ο ητοιμασας κατα προσωπον παντων των λαων
32 A light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. lumen ad revelationem gentium, et gloriam plebis tuæ Israël. φως εις αποκαλυψιν εθνων και δοξαν λαου σου ισραηλ
33 And his father and mother were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning him. Et erat pater ejus et mater mirantes super his quæ dicebantur de illo. και ην ιωσηφ και η μητηρ αυτου θαυμαζοντες επι τοις λαλουμενοις περι αυτου
34 And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; Et benedixit illis Simeon, et dixit ad Mariam matrem ejus : Ecce positus est hic in ruinam, et in resurrectionem multorum in Israël, et in signum cui contradicetur : και ευλογησεν αυτους συμεων και ειπεν προς μαριαμ την μητερα αυτου ιδου ουτος κειται εις πτωσιν και αναστασιν πολλων εν τω ισραηλ και εις σημειον αντιλεγομενον
35 And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed. et tuam ipsius animam pertransibit gladius ut revelentur ex multis cordibus cogitationes. και σου δε αυτης την ψυχην διελευσεται ρομφαια οπως αν αποκαλυφθωσιν εκ πολλων καρδιων διαλογισμοι
36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser; she was far advanced in years, and had lived with her husband seven years from her virginity. Et erat Anna prophetissa, filia Phanuel, de tribu Aser : hæc processerat in diebus multis, et vixerat cum viro suo annis septem a virginitate sua. και ην αννα προφητις θυγατηρ φανουηλ εκ φυλης ασηρ αυτη προβεβηκυια εν ημεραις πολλαις ζησασα ετη μετα ανδρος επτα απο της παρθενιας αυτης
37 And she was a widow until fourscore and four years; who departed not from the temple, by fastings and prayers serving night and day. Et hæc vidua usque ad annos octoginta quatuor : quæ non discedebat de templo, jejuniis, et obsecrationibus serviens nocte ac die. και αυτη χηρα ως ετων ογδοηκοντα τεσσαρων η ουκ αφιστατο απο του ιερου νηστειαις και δεησεσιν λατρευουσα νυκτα και ημεραν
38 Now she, at the same hour, coming in, confessed to the Lord; and spoke of him to all that looked for the redemption of Israel. Et hæc, ipsa hora superveniens, confitebatur Domino : et loquebatur de illo omnibus, qui exspectabant redemptionem Israël. και αυτη αυτη τη ωρα επιστασα ανθωμολογειτο τω κυριω και ελαλει περι αυτου πασιν τοις προσδεχομενοις λυτρωσιν εν ιερουσαλημ
39 And after they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their city Nazareth. Et ut perfecerunt omnia secundum legem Domini, reversi sunt in Galilæam in civitatem suam Nazareth. και ως ετελεσαν απαντα τα κατα τον νομον κυριου υπεστρεψαν εις την γαλιλαιαν εις την πολιν εαυτων ναζαρετ
40 And the child grew, and waxed strong, full of wisdom; and the grace of God was in him. Puer autem crescebat, et confortabatur plenus sapientia : et gratia Dei erat in illo. το δε παιδιον ηυξανεν και εκραταιουτο πνευματι πληρουμενον σοφιας και χαρις θεου ην επ αυτο

34 posted on 12/30/2011 6:06:07 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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22. And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
23. (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)
24. And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

CYRIL; Next after the circumcision they wait for the time of purification, as it is said, And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were come.

THEOPHYL; If you diligently examine the words of the law, you will find indeed that the mother of God as she is free from all connection with man, so is she exempt from any obligation of the law. For not every woman who brings forth, but she who has received seed and brought forth, is pronounced unclean, and by the ordinances of the law is taught that she must be cleansed, in order to distinguish probably from her who though a virgin has conceived and brought forth. But that we might be loosed from the bonds of the law, as did Christ, so also Mary submitted herself of her own will to the law.

TITUS BOST. Therefore the Evangelist has well observed, that the days of her purification were come according to the law, who since she had conceived of the Holy Spirit, was free from all uncleanness. It follows, They brought him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.

ATHAN. But when was the Lord hid from His Father's eye, that He should not be seen by Him, or what place is excepted from His dominion, that by remaining there He should be separate from His Father unless brought to Jerusalem and introduced into the temple? But for us perhaps these things were written. For as not to confer grace on Himself was He made man and circumcised in the flesh, but to make us Gods through grace, and that we might be circumcised in the Spirit, so for our sakes is He presented to the Lord, that we also might learn to present ourselves to the Lord.

THEOPHYL; On the thirty-third day after His circumcision He is presented to the Lord, signifying in a mystery that no one but he who is circumcised from his sins is worthy to come into the Lord's sight, that no one who ho has not severed himself from all human ties can perfectly enter into the joys of the heavenly city. It follows, As it is written in the law of the Lord.

ORIGEN; Where are they who deny that Christ proclaimed in the Gospel the law to be of God, or can it be supposed that the righteous God made His own Son under a hostile law which He Himself had not given? It is written in the law of Moses as follows, Every male which opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord.

THEOPHYL; By the words, opening the womb, he signifies the first-born both of man and beast, and each one of which was, according to the commandment, to be called holy to the Lord, and therefore to become the property of the priest, that is, so far that he was to receive a price for every first-born of man, and oblige every unclean animal to be ransomed.

GREG. NYSS. Now this commandment of the law seems to have had its fulfillment in the incarnate God, in a very remarkable and peculiar manner. For He alone, ineffably conceived and incomprehensibly brought forth, opened the virgin's womb, till then unopened by marriage, and after this birth miraculously retaining the seal of chastity.

AMBROSE; For no union with man disclosed the secrets of the virgin's womb, but the Holy Spirit infused the immaculate seed into an inviolate womb. He then who sanctified another womb in order that a prophet should be born, He it is who has opened the womb of His own mother, that the Immaculate should come forth. By the words opening the womb, he speaks of birth after the usual manner, not that the sacred abode of the virgin's womb, which our Lord in entering sanctified, should now be thought by His proceeding forth from it to be deprived of its virginity.

GREG. NYSS. But the offspring of this birth is alone seen to be spiritually male, as contracting no guilt from being born of a woman. Hence He is truly called holy, and therefore Gabriel, as if announcing that this commandment belonged to Him only, said, That Holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called, the Son of God. Now of other first-borns the wisdom of the Gospel has declared that they are called holy from their being offered to God. But the first-born of every creature, That holy thing which is born, &c. the Angel pronounces to be in the nature of its very being holy.

AMBROSE; For among those that are born of a woman, the Lord Jesus alone is in every thing holy, who in the newness of His immaculate birth experienced not the contagion of earthly defilement, but by His Heavenly Majesty dispelled it. For if we follow the letter, how can every male be holy, since it is undoubted that many have been most wicked? But He is holy whom in the figure of a future mystery the pious ordinances of the divine law prefigured, because He alone was to open the hidden womb of the holy virgin Church for the begetting of nations.

CYRIL; Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! He offers victims, Who in each victim is honored equally with the Father. The Truth preserves the figures of the law. He who as God is the Maker of the law, as man has kept the law. Hence it follows, And that they should give a victim as it was ordered in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons.

THEOPHYL; Now this was the victim of the poor. For the Lord commanded in the law that they who were should offer a lamb for a son or a daughter as well as a turtle dove or pigeon; but they who were not able to offer a lamb should give two turtle doves or two young pigeons. Therefore the Lord, though he was rich, deigned to become poor, that by his poverty He might make us partakers of His riches.

CYRIL; But let us see what these offerings mean. The turtle dove is the most vocal of birds, and the pigeon the gentlest. And such was the Savior made unto us; He was endowed with perfect meekness, and like the turtle dove entranced the world, filling His garden with His own melodies. There was killed then either a turtle dove or a pigeon, that by a figure He might be shown forth to us as about to suffer in the flesh for the life of the world.

THEOPHYL; Or the pigeon denotes simplicity, the turtle dove chastity, for the pigeon is a lover of simplicity, and the turtle dove of chastity, so that if by chance she has lost her mate, she heeds not to find another. Rightly then are the pigeon and turtle dove offered as victims to the Lord, because the simple and chaste conversation of the faithful is a sacrifice of righteousness well pleasing to Him.

ATHAN. He ordered two things to be offered, because as man consists of both body and soul, the Lord requires a double return from us, chastity and meekness, not only of the body, but also of the soul. Otherwise, man will be a dissembler and hypocrite, wearing the face of innocence to mask his hidden malice.

THEOPHYL; But while each bird, from its habit of wailing, represents the present sorrows of the saints, in this they differ, that the turtle is solitary, but the pigeon flies about in flocks, and hence the one points to the secret tears of confession, the other to the public assembling of the Church.

THEOPHYL; Or the pigeon which flies in flocks sets forth the busy intercourse of active life. The turtle, which delights in solitariness, tells of the lofty heights of the contemplative life. But because each victim is equally accepted by the Creator, St. Luke has purposely omitted whether the turtles or young pigeons were offered for the Lord, that he might not prefer one mode of life before another, but teach that both ought to be followed.

25. And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
26. And it was revealed to him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
27. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
28. Then took he him up in his arms.

AMBROSE; Not only did Angels and Prophets, the shepherds and his parents, bear witness to the birth of the Lord, but the old men and the righteous. As it is said, And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and he was a just man, and one who feared God. For scarcely is righteousness preserved without fear, I mean not that fear which dreads the loss of worldly goods, (which perfect love casts out,) but that holy fear of the Lord which abides for ever, by which the righteous man, the more ardent his love to God, is so much the more careful not to offend Him.

AMBROSE; Well is he called righteous who sought not his own good, but the good of his nation, as it follows, Waiting for the consolation of Israel.

GREG. NYSS. It was not surely worldly happiness that the prudent Simeon was waiting for as the consolation of Israel, but a real happiness, that is, a passing over to the beauty of truth from the shadow of the law. For he had learnt from the sacred oracles that he would see the Lord's Christ before he should depart out of this present life. Hence it follows, And the Holy Spirit was in him, (by which indeed he was justified,) and he received an answer from the Holy Spirit.

AMBROSE; He desired indeed to be loosed from the chains of bodily infirmity, but he wails to see the promise, for he knew, Happy are those eyes which shall see it.

GREG. Hereby also we learn with what desire the holy men of Israel desired to see the mystery of His incarnation.

THEOPHYL; To see death means to undergo it, and happy will he be to see the death of the flesh who has first been enabled to see with the eyes of his heart the Lord Christ, having his conversation in the heavenly Jerusalem, and frequently entering the doors of God's temple, that is, following the examples of the saints in whom God dwells as in His temple. By the same grace of the Spirit whereby he foreknew Christ would come, he now acknowledges Him come, as it follows, And he came by the Spirit into the temple.

ORIGEN; If you will touch Jesus and grasp Him in your hands, strive with all your strength to have the Spirit for your guide, and come to the temple of God. For it follows, And when his parents brought in the child Jesus, (i.e. Mary His mother, and Joseph His reputed father,) to do for him after the custom of the law,

then took he him up in his arms.

GREG. NYSS. How blessed was that holy entrance to holy things through which he hastened on to the end of life, blessed those hands which handled the word of life, and the arms which were held out to receive Him!

THEOPHYL; Now the righteous man, according to the law, received the Child Jesus in his arms, that he might signify that the legal righteousness of works under the figure of the hands and arms was to be changed for the lowly indeed but saving grace of Gospel faith The old man received the infant Christ, to convey thereby that this world, now worn out as it were with old age, should return to the childlike innocence of the Christian life.

28. - and blessed God, and said,
29. Lord, now let you your servant depart in peace, according to your word:
30. For mine eyes have seen your salvation,
31. Which you have prepared before the face of all people;
32. A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.

ORIGEN; If we marvel to hear that a woman was healed by touching the hem of a garment, what must we think of Simeon, who received an Infant in his arms, and rejoiced seeing that the little one he carried was He who had come to let loose the captive! Knowing that no one could release him from the chains of the body with the hope of future life, but He whom he held in his arms. Therefore it is said, And he blessed God, saying, Lord, now let you your servant depart.

THEOPHYL. When he says Lord, he confesses that He is the very Lord of both life and death, and so acknowledges the Child whom he held in his arms to be God.

ORIGEN; As it he said, "As long as I held not Christ, I was in prison, and could not escape from my bonds."

BASIL; If you examine the words of the righteous, you will find that they all sorrow over this world and its mournful delay. Alas me! says David, that my habitation is prolonged.

AMBROSE; Observe then that this just man, confined as it were in the prison house of his earthly frame, is longing to be loosed, that he may again be with Christ. But whoso would be cleansed, let him come into the temple; - into Jerusalem: let him wait for the Lord's Christ, let him receive in his hands the word of God, and embrace it as it were with the arms of his faith. Then let him depart that he might not see death who has seen life.

GREEK EX. Simeon blessed God also, because the promises made to him had received their true fulfillment. For He was reckoned worthy to see with his eyes, and to carry in his arms the consolation of Israel. And therefore he says, According to your word, i.e. since I have obtained the completion of your promises. And now that I have seen with my eyes what was my desire to see, now let you your servant depart, neither dismayed at the taste of death, nor harassed with doubting thoughts: as he adds, in peace.

GREG. NYSS. For since Christ has destroyed the enemy, which is sin, and has reconciled us to the Father, the removal of saints has been in peace.

ORIGEN; But who departs from this world in peace, but he who is persuaded that was Christ reconciling the world to Himself; who has nothing hostile to God, having derived to himself all peace by good works in himself?

GREEK EX. But it had been twice promised to him that he should not see death before ho should see the Lord's Christ, and therefore he adds, to show that this promise was fulfilled, For mine eyes have seen your salvation.

GREG. NYSS. Blessed are the eyes, both of your soul and your body. For the one visibly embrace God, but the others not considering those things which are seen, but enlightened by the brightness of the Spirit of the Lord, acknowledge the Word made flesh. For the salvation which you have perceived with your eyes is Jesus Himself, by which name salvation is declared.

CYRIL; But Christ was the mystery which has been revealed in the last times of the world, having been prepared before the foundation of the world. Hence it follows, which you have prepared before the face of all men.

ATHAN. That is to say, the salvation wrought by Christ for the whole world. How then was it said above that he was watching for the consolation of Israel, but because he truly perceived in the spirit that consolation would be to Israel at that time when salvation was prepared for all people.

GREEK EX. Mark the wisdom of the good and venerable old man, who before that he was thought worthy of the blessed vision, was waiting for the consolation of Israel, but when he obtained that which he was looking for, exclaims that he saw the salvation of all people. So enlightened was he by the unspeakable radiance of the Child, that the perceived at a glance things that were to happen a long time after.

THEOPHYL. By these words, Before the face, he signifies that our Lord's incarnation would be visible to all men. And this salvation he says is to be the light of the Gentiles and the glory of Israel, as it follows, A light to lighten the Gentiles.

ATHAN. For the Gentiles before the coming of Christ were lying in the deepest darkness, being without the knowledge of God.

CYRIL; But Christ coming was made a light to them that sat in darkness, being sore oppressed by the power of the devil but they were called by God the Father to the knowledge of His Son, Who is the true light.

GREG. NYSS. Israel was enlightened though dimly by the law, so he says not that light came to them, but his words are, to be the glory of your people Israel. Calling to mind the ancient history that as of old Moses after speaking with God returned with his face glorious, so they also coming to the divine light of His human nature, casting away their old veil, might be transformed into the same image from glory to glory. For although some of them were disobedient, yet a remnant were saved and came through Christ to glory, of which the Apostles were first-fruits, whose brightness illumines the whole world. For Christ was in a peculiar manner the glory of Israel, because according to the flesh He came forth from Israel, although as God He was over all blessed for ever.

GREG. NYSS, He said therefore, of your people, signifying that not only was He adored by them, but moreover of them was He born according to the flesh.

THEOPHYL; And well is the enlightening of the Gentiles put before the glory of Israel, because when the fullness of the Gentiles shall have come in, then shall Israel be safe.

33. And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him.
34. And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
35. (Yea, a sword shall pierce through your own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

GREEK EX. The knowledge of supernatural things, as often as it is brought to the recollection, renews the miracle in the mind, and hence it is said, His father and mother marveled at those things which were said of him.

ORIGEN; Both by the angel and the multitude of the heavenly host, by the shepherds also, and Simeon.

THEOPHYL; Joseph is called the father of the Savior, not because he was (as the Photinians say) His real father, but because from regard to the reputation of Mary, all men considered him so.

AUG. He however might be called His father in that light in which, he is rightly regarded as the husband of Mary, that is, not from any carnal connection, but by reason of the very bond of wedlock, a far closer relationship than that of adoption. For that Joseph was not to be called Christ's father was not, because he had not begotten Him by cohabitation, since in truth he might be a father to one whom he had not begotten from his wife, but had adopted from another.

ORIGEN; But they who look deeper into the matter may say, that since the genealogy is deduced from David to Joseph, therefore lest Joseph should seem to be mentioned for no purpose, as not being the father of the Savior, he was called His father, that the genealogy might maintain sup. its place.

GREEK EX. Having given praise to God, Simeon now turns to bless them that brought the Child, as it follows, And Simeon blessed them. He gave to each a blessing, but his presage of hidden things he imparts only to the mother, in order that in the common blessing He might not deprive Joseph of the likeness of a father, but in what he says to the mother apart from Joseph he might proclaim her to be the true mother.

AMBROSE; Behold what abundant grace is extended to all men by the birth of the Lord, and how prophecy is withheld from the unbelievers, not from the righteous. Simeon also prophesies that Christ Jesus has come for the fall and rising again of many.

ORIGEN; They who explain this simply, may say that He came for the fall of unbelievers, and the rising again of believers.

CHRYS. As the light though it may annoy weak eyes, is still light; in like manner the Savior endures, though many fall away, for His office is not to destroy; but their way is madness. Wherefore not only by the salvation of the good but by the scattering of the wicked, is His power shown. For the sun the brighter it shines, is the more trying to the weak sight.

GREG. NYSS. Mark the nice distinction here observed. Salvation is said to be prepared before the face of all people, but the falling and raising is of many; for the Divine purpose was the salvation and sanctification of every one whereas the falling and lifting up stands in the will of many believers and unbelievers. But that those who were lying in unbelief should be raised up again is not unreasonable

ORIGEN; The careful interpreter will say, that no one falls who was not before standing. Tell me then, who were they who stood, for whose fall Christ came?

GREG. NYSS. But by this he signifies a fall to the very lowest, as if the punishment before the mystery of the incarnation, fell far short of that after the giving and preaching of the Gospel dispensation And those spoken of are chiefly of Israel, who must of necessity forfeit their ancient privileges, and pay a heavier penalty than any other nation, because they were so unwilling to receive Him Who had long been prophesied among them, had been worshipped, and had come forth from them. In a most especial manner then he threatens them with not only a fall from spiritual freedom, but also the destruction of their city, and of those who dwelt among them. But a resurrection is promised to believers, partly indeed as subject to the law, and about to be delivered from its bondage, but partly as buried together with Christ, and rising with Him.

GREG. NYSS. Now from these words, you may perceive through the agreement of men's minds on the word of prophecy, that one and the same God and lawgiver has spoken both in the Prophets and the New Testament. For the language of prophecy declared that there shall be a stone of falling, and a rock of offense, that they who believe on Him should not be confounded. The fall therefore is to them who are offended with the meanness of His coming in the flesh; the rising again to those who acknowledge the steadfastness of the Divine purpose.

ORIGEN; There is also a deeper meaning aimed against those who raise their voices against their Creator, saying, Behold the God of the Law and the Prophets of what sort He is! He says, I kill, and I make alive. If God then is a bloody judge and a cruel master, it is most plain that Jesus is His Son, since the same things here are written of Him, namely, that He comes for the fall and rising again of many.

AMBROSE; That is, to distinguish the merits of the just and the unjust, and according to the quality of our deeds, as a true and just Judge, to decree punishment or rewards.

ORIGEN; But we must take care lest by chance the Savior should not come to some equally for the fall and rising again; for when I stood in sin, it was first good for me to fall, and die to sin. Lastly, Prophets and Saints when they were designing some great thing, used to fall on their faces, that by their fall their sins should be the more fully blotted out. This it is that the Savior first grants to you. You were a sinner, let that which is sin fall in you, that you may thence rise again, and say, If we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him.

CHRYS. The resurrection is a new life and conversation. For when the sensual man becomes chaste, the covetous merciful, the cruel man gentle, a resurrection takes place. Sin being dead, righteousness rises again. It follows, And for a sign which shall be spoken against.

BASIL; The sign which is spoken against is called in Scripture, the cross. For Moses, it says, made a brazen serpent, and placed it for a sign.

GREG. NYSS. He has joined together honor and dishonor. For to us Christians this sign is a token of honor, but it is a sign of contradiction, inasmuch by some indeed it is received as absurd and monstrous, by others with the greatest veneration. Or perhaps Christ Himself is termed a sign, as having a supernatural existence, and as the author of signs.

BASIL; For a sign betokens something marvelous and mysterious, which is seen indeed by the simple minded.

ORIGEN; But all the things which history relates of Christ are spoken against, not that those who believe on Him speak against Him, (for we know that all the things which are written of Him are true,) but that every thing which has been written of Him is with the unbelievers a sign which is spoken against.

GREG. NYSS. Though these things are said of the Son, yet they have reference also to His mother, who takes each thing to herself, whether it be of danger or glory. He announces to her not only her prosperity, but her sorrows; for it follows, And a sword shall pierce through your own heart.

THEOPHYL; No history tells us that Mary departed this life by being slain with the sword, therefore since not the soul but the body is killed with iron, we are left to understand that sword which is mentioned, And a sword in their lips, that is, grief because of our Lord's passion passed through her soul, who although she saw Christ the very Son of God die a voluntary death, and doubted not that He who was begotten of her flesh would overcome death, could not without grief see Him crucified.

AMBROSE; Or it shows the wisdom of Mary, that she was not ignorant of the heavenly Majesty For the word of God is living and strong, and sharper than the sharpest sword

AUG. Or by this is signified that Mary also, through whom was performed the mystery of the incarnation, looked with doubt and astonishment at the death of her Lord, seeing the Son of God so humbled as to come down even to death. And as a sword passing close by a man causes fear, though it does not strike him; so doubt also causes sorrow, yet does not kill; for it is not fastened to the mind, but passes through it as through a shadow.

GREG. NYSS. But it is not meant that she alone was concerned in that passion, for it is added, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. The word that marks the non event; it is not used causatively; for when all these events took place, there followed the discovery of many men's intentions. For some confessed God on the cross, others even then ceased not from their blasphemies and revilings. Or this was said, meaning that at the time of the passion the thoughts of men's hearts should be laid open, and be corrected by the resurrection. For doubts are quickly superseded by certainty. Or perhaps by revealing may be meant, the enlightening of the thoughts, as it is often used in Scripture.

THEOPHYL; But now even down to the close of the present time, the sword of the severest tribulation ceases not to go through the soul of the Church, when with bitter sorrow she experiences the evil speaking against the sign of faith, when hearing the word of God that many are raised with Christ, she finds still more falling from the faith, when at the revealing of the thoughts of many hearts, in which the good seed of the Gospel has been sown, she beholds the tares of vice overshooting it, spreading beyond it, or growing alone.

ORIGEN; But the evil thoughts of men were revealed, that He Who died for us might slay them; for while they were hidden, it was impossible to utterly destroy them. Hence also when we have sinned we ought to say, Mine iniquity have I not hid. For if we make known our sins not only to God, but to whoever can heal our wounds, our sins will be blotted out.

39. And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.
40. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

THEOPHYL; Luke has omitted in this place what he knew to have been sufficiently set forth by Matthew, that the Lord after this, for fear that He should be discovered and put to death by Herod, was carried by His parents into Egypt, and at Herod's death, having at length returned to Galilee, came to dwell in His own city Nazareth. For the Evangelists individually are wont to omit certain things which they either know to have been, or in the Spirit foresee will be, related by others, so that in the connected chain of their narrative, they seem as it were to have omitted nothing, whereas by examining the writings of another Evangelist, the careful reader may discover the places where the omissions have been. Thus after omitting many things, Luke says, And when they had accomplished all things, &c.

THEOPHYL. Bethlehem was indeed their city, their paternal city, Nazareth the place of their abode.

AUG. Perhaps it may strike you as strange that Matthew should say that His parents went with the young Child into Galilee because they were unwilling to go to Judea for fear of Archelaus, when they seem to have gone into Galilee rather because their city w as Nazareth in Galilee, as Luke in this place explains it. But we must consider, that when the Angel said in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, Rise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel, it was at first understood by Joseph as a command to go into Judea, for so at first sight the land of Israel might have been taken to mean. But when afterwards he finds that Herod's son Archelaus was king, he was unwilling to be exposed to that danger, seeing the land of Israel might also be understood to include Galilee also as a part of it, for there also the people of Israel dwelt.

GREEK EX. Or again, Luke is here describing the time before the descent to Egypt, for before her purification Joseph had not taken Mary there But before they went down into Egypt, they were not told by God to go to Nazareth but as living more freely in their own country, thither of their own accord they went; for since the going up to Bethlehem was for no other reason but the taxing, when that was accomplished they go down to Nazareth.

THEOPHYL. Now our Lord might have come forth from the womb in the stature of mature age, but this would seem like something imaginary; therefore His growth is gradual, as it follows, And the child grew, and waxed strong.

THEOPHYL; We must observe the distinction of words, that the Lord Jesus Christ in that He w as a child, that is, had put on the condition of human weakness, was daily growing and being strengthened.

ATHAN. But if as some say the flesh was changed into a Divine nature, how did it derive growth? for to attribute growth to an uncreated substance is impious.

CYRIL; Rightly with the A growth in age, St. Luke has united increase in wisdom, as he says, And he was strengthened, (i.e. in spirit.) For in proportion to the measure of bodily growth, the Divine nature developed its own wisdom.

THEOPHYL. For if while yet a little child, He had displayed His wisdom, He would have seemed a miracle, but together with the advance of age He gradually showed Himself, so as to fill the whole world. For not as receiving wisdom is He said to be strengthened in spirit. For that which is most perfect in the beginning, how can that become any more perfect. Hence it follows, Filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was in him.

THEOPHYL; Wisdom truly, for in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, but grace, because it was in great grace given to the man Christ Jesus, that from the time He began to be man He should be perfect man and perfect God. But much rather because He was the word of God, and God needed not to be strengthened, nor was in a state of growth. But while He was yet a little child He had the grace of God, that as in Him all things were wonderful, His childhood also might be wonderful, so as to be filled with the wisdom of God. It follows, And his parents went every year to Jerusalem, at the feast of the Passover.

Catena Aurea Luke 2
35 posted on 12/30/2011 6:07:01 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex


The Presentation in the Temple

Bartolo di Fredi (1330–1410)

Wood
Musée du Louvre, Paris


36 posted on 12/30/2011 6:08:06 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: December 30, 2011
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: O God, who were pleased to give us the shining example of the Holy Family, graciously grant that we may imitate them in practicing the virtues of family life and in the bonds of charity, and so, in the joy of your house, delight one day in eternal rewards. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Christmas: December 30th

Facebook Twitter Feast of the Holy Family

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Scripture tells us practically nothing about the first years and the boyhood of the Child Jesus. All we know are the facts of the sojourn in Egypt, the return to Nazareth, and the incidents that occurred when the twelve-year-old boy accompanied his parents to Jerusalem. In her liturgy the Church hurries over this period of Christ's life with equal brevity. The general breakdown of the family, however, at the end of the past century and at the beginning of our own, prompted the popes, especially the far-sighted Leo XIII, to promote the observance of this feast with the hope that it might instill into Christian families something of the faithful love and the devoted attachment that characterize the family of Nazareth. The primary purpose of the Church in instituting and promoting this feast is to present the Holy Family as the model and exemplar of all Christian families.

— Excerpted from With Christ Through the Year, Rev. Bernard Strasser, O.S.B.

The Sixth Day of Christmas


The Holy Family
Marriage is too often conceived as the sacrament which unites a man and a woman to form a couple. In reality, marriage establishes a family, and its purpose is to increase the number of the elect, through the bodily and spiritual fecundity of the Christian spouses.

1. Every marriage intends children. Although Mary and Joseph were not united in a carnal way, their marriage is a true marriage: an indissoluble, exclusive union, wholly subordinated to the child. Mary and Joseph are united only in order to bring Jesus into the world, to protect and raise him. They have only one child, but he contains the whole of mankind, even as Isaac, an only child, fulfilled the promise made to Abraham of a countless progeny.

2. The purpose of every marriage is to establish a Christian family. The Holy Family observed the religious laws of Israel; it went in pilgrimage to Jerusalem every year with other Jewish families (Lk. 2:41). Jesus saddens and amazes his father and his mother because to their will and company he prefers "to be in his Father's house". Thus it may happen that God's will obliges the family to make disconcerting sacrifices. Yet every Christian family must live in harmony and in prayer, which are the pledges of joy and union.

3. "He remained obedient to them." Jesus was God. And through the fullness of grace Mary stood above Joseph. Nevertheless — if we except the event in the Temple — Joseph remained the head of the family; he took the initiative (as when the Holy Family fled to Egypt), and in Nazareth Jesus obeyed his parents.

Excerpted from Bread and the Word, A.M. Roguet


The Holy Family: Jesus, Mary and Joseph
The devotion to the Holy Family was born in Bethlehem, together with the Baby Jesus. The shepherds went to adore the Child and, at the same time, they gave honor to His family. Later, in a similar way, the three wise men came from the East to adore and give honor to the newborn King with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh that would be safeguarded by His family.

We can go further to affirm that in a certain sense Christ, Himself, was the first devotee of His family. He showed His devotion to His mother and foster father by submitting Himself, with infinite humility, to the duty of filial obedience towards them. This is what St Bernard of Clairvaux said in this regard, ‘God, to whom angels submit themselves and who principalities and powers obey, was subject to Mary; and not only to Mary but Joseph also for Mary’s sake [….]. God obeyed a human creature; this is humility without precedent. A human creature commands God; it is sublime beyond measure.’ (First Homily on the ‘Missus Est’).

Today’s celebration demonstrates Christ’s humility and obedience with respect to the fourth commandment, whilst also highlighting the loving care that His parents exercised in His keeping. The servant of God, Pope John Paul II, in 1989, entitled his Apostolic Exhortation, ‘Redemptoris Custos’ (Guardian of the Redeemer) which was dedicated to the person and the mission of Saint Joseph in the life of Christ and of the Church. After exactly a century, he resumed the teaching of Pope Leo XIII, for who Saint Joseph ‘.. shines among all mankind by the most august dignity, since by divine will, he was the guardian of the Son of God and reputed as His father among men’ (Encyclical Quamquam Pluries [1889] n. 3). Pope Leo XIII continued, ‘.. Joseph became the guardian, the administrator, and the legal defender of the divine house whose chief he was.[…] It is, then, natural and worthy that as the Blessed Joseph ministered to all the needs of the family at Nazareth and girt it about with his protection, he should now cover with the cloak of his heavenly patronage and defend the Church of Jesus Christ.’ Not many years before, blessed Pope Pius IX had proclaimed Saint Joseph, ‘Patron of the Catholic Church’ (1870)

Almost intuitively, one can recognize that the mysterious, exemplary, guardianship enacted by Joseph was conducted firstly, in a yet more intimate way, by Mary. Consequently, the liturgical feast of the Holy Family speaks to us of the fond and loving care that we must render to the Body of Christ. We can understand this in a mystical sense, as guardians of the Church, and also in the Eucharistic sense. Mary and Joseph took great care of Jesus’ physical body. Following their example, we can and must take great care of His Mystical Body, the Church, and the Eucharist which He has entrusted to us. If Mary was, in some way, ‘the first tabernacle in history’ (John Paul II Ecclesia de Eucharistia, n. 55) then we the Tabernacle in which Our Lord chose to reside in person, in His Real Presence, was also entrusted to us. We can learn from Mary and Joseph! What would they ever have overlooked in the care of Jesus’ physical body? Is there something, therefore, that we can withhold for the right and adoring care of His Eucharistic Body? No amount of attention, no sane act of love and adoring respect will ever be too much! On the contrary, our adoration and respect will always be inferior to the great gift that comes to us in the Holy Eucharist.

Looking at the Holy Family, we see the love, the protection, and the diligent care that they gave to the Redeemer. We can not fail to feel uneasiness, perhaps a shameful thought, for the times in which we have not rendered the appropriate care and attention to the Blessed Eucharist. We can only ask for forgiveness and do penance for all the sacrilegious acts and the lack of respect that are committed in front of the Blessed Eucharist. We can only ask the Lord, through the intersession of the Holy Family of Nazareth, for a greater love for their Son Incarnate, who has decided to remain here on earth with us every day until the end of time.

From the Congregation for the Clergy

Things to Do:

  • Let us imitate the Holy Family in our Christian families, and our family will be a cell and a prefiguration of the heavenly family. Say a prayer dedicating your family to the Holy Family. Also pray for all families and for our country to uphold the sanctity of the marriage bond which is under attack.

  • Read more about Pope Leo XIII who instituted the Feast of the Holy Family and read his encyclical On Christian Marriage. You can also check out the Vatican's page of Papal documents on the Family.

  • Read the explanation of Jesus' knowledge in the activities section. Read Pope Pius X's Syllabus of Errors which condemns the modernist assertion that Christ did not always possess the consciousness of His Messianic dignity.

  • Have the whole family participate in cooking dinner. You might try a Lebanese meal. Some suggestions: stuffed grape leaves, stuffed cabbage rolls, lentils and rice, spinach and meat pies, chicken and dumplings, hummus, Lebanese bread, tabbouleh — a Lebanese salad and kibbi, a traditional Lebanese dish of specially ground meat mixed with spices and cracked wheat. This is the same kind of food that Mary served Jesus and St. Joseph. It's healthy and delicious.

37 posted on 12/30/2011 7:22:23 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Sorry, but I got a week ahead of myself on the First Friday. LOL!


38 posted on 12/30/2011 7:42:11 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Colossians 3:12-21

The Holy Family

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. (Colossians 3:12)

These characteristics certainly do seem to describe a holy fam­ily! Often, though, our families are places where we can be hurt the most deeply by wrongs or where we find ourselves irritated or impatient with one another. Something about the closeness of family life just brings our faults to the surface.

What can we do when our fam­ily seems to bear little resemblance to the Holy Family? We can take St. Paul’s advice and put on virtue. We have been chosen and loved by God. Jesus has redeemed us. We have the Holy Spirit living in us! These three dramatic truths tell us that we can make a fresh start— right here, right now. Even small steps will make a difference.

A new year is almost upon us. What kind of choices can you make this year to put on the virtues that form holiness in you and your fam­ily? We all come from different situations. We may have both par­ents or only one present. We may have little children or adult children with families of their own. We may be part of a religious community. We may be separated from our families by military deployment, imprison­ment, or personal hardship. But no matter what our situations, we can all take one more step.

Maybe we can try to get the fam­ily together once a week to pray the rosary—even if it’s only a de­cade at a time! Maybe we could give a younger relative a prayer jour­nal and gently guide them toward a commitment to daily prayer. Maybe we could find a parish that offers eucharistic adoration and bring our families once a week.

For younger children, daily Bible stories or learning about the saints at bedtime can form a bond of faith. Teens may benefit if we make the time to talk honestly about the strug­gles they face and share our own experiences with them.

Whatever steps you take, you can be confident that the closer you are to Jesus, the better you will reflect his life. And the better you reflect Christ, the more it will affect your family.

“Heavenly Father, author of family life, help me to bring a holy change in my family this year. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, pray for us!”

Sirach 3:2-6,12-14; Psalm 128:1-5; Luke 2:22-40


39 posted on 12/30/2011 7:55:49 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
A Christian Pilgrim

THE HOLY FAMILY OF NAZARETH

(A biblical reflection on the Feast of THE HOLY FAMILY, Friday 30 December 2011) 

Gospel Reading: Lk 2:22,39-40 

First Reading: Gen 15:1-6; 21:1-3; Psalms: Ps 105:1-6,8-9 

The Scripture Text

And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord.

And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. And the Child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon Him. (Lk 2:22,39-40 RSV) 

As Creator, God is our Father and we are His children. He loves us all with an everlasting love. Our Father knows what is best for us, and His greatest desire is to share His life with us. Neither life nor love is possible apart from Him.

On this feast of the Holy Family, let us reflect on the fact that, although we fall short of God due to the sin of Adam and Eve, it is possible, through faith in Jesus and obedience to His will, to reverse this situation and lead lives pleasing to the one who rescued us and filled us with His Holy Spirit. It is possible to be a reflection of the Holy Family, and to a union of persons who are a sign and image of the union of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – the Trinity.

As a family, we are called to partake in Jesus’ prayer and sacrifice – to be one in Him as He is one with the Father – and to die to ourselves so that He can live within us. Daily prayer, the reading of scripture, and taking the sacraments are vital in developing this union with Jesus.

In his apostolic exhortation on family life, FAMILIARIS CONSORTIO, Pope John Paul II wrote: “The essence and role of the family are in the final analysis specified by love. Hence, the family has a mission to guard and communicate love, and this is a living reflection of and a real sharing in God’s love for humanity and in the love of Christ the Lord for the Church His bride” (17).

What a privilege it is to participate in God’s plan! What a privilege for all parents to tell their children of God’s love, of Jesus, and the salvation He has won for them; to create an atmosphere of prayer, love, and discipline. Through the words and deeds of parents who seek the Spirit’s power, the light of faith can begin to take root and grow in our children’s hearts and minds and bring them into His Kingdom.

Short Prayer: Heavenly Father, in the Holy Family of Nazareth You have given us the true model of a Christian home. Grant that by following Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in their love for each other and in the example of their family life we may come to Your home of peace and joy. We make our prayer in the precious name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.


40 posted on 12/30/2011 8:02:26 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Marriage = One Man and One Woman
Til' Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for December 30, 2011:

In a healthy family life we experience some of the fundamental elements of peace: Mutual help in the necessities of life. (Pope Benedict XVI)


41 posted on 12/30/2011 8:06:09 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

Rooted in Love
U. S. A. | SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph (December 30, 2011).

December 30, 2011
Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

Luke 2:22-40
When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,” and to offer the sacrifice of “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,” in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord. Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: "Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel." The child´s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

Introductory Prayer: Jesus, you were a small child in your Mother’s arms. You were a baby who needed the protection of Joseph. You felt their goodness and love. Today I want to celebrate this love of your family. I want to enter into this love and bring it also to my own family. I believe and trust that you will help me in this.

Petition: Lord, help me discover the wonders of the love of the Holy Family.

1. The Bridegroom Is with You: Our God is a God of love. A family participates in this love because God is the source of the love that draws them together. The love that is so spontaneous, as well as so sacrificial, in a family shows the presence of Christ’s love. Jesus makes this love spring forth. It is homage to his Father and homage to his love for us. Am I aware of Christ’s loving presence in my family? Do I strive to collaborate with his love?

2. Family and Covenant: A family is fruit of a covenant, and God is part of this covenant. God has always wanted to make man part of his family, beginning with Adam and Eve. The Holy Family demonstrates the definitive covenant of God’s love for each of us. They live it with wonder and, like Abraham, they put their faith totally in God, bonding themselves totally to his will and to his love. They play their parts in the working of God’s plan, and God will keep his promise to them, making them providential collaborators in his plan of salvation. We can be sure of God’s faithful love in the family. We can be sure that he is working his plan of salvation with faithfulness. Do I strive for unity in my family by living supernatural charity?

3. Spiritual Inheritance: The Holy Family is a source of blessing. My family is also a source of blessing, even though moments of sorrow are bound to happen. When I live with faith my role in the family, I help to bring these blessings on the world. Often it is the example of Christian families that attracts others to the faith. Often the most powerful apostles, whether lay or consecrated persons, are fruit of the strong faith that is lived in the family. A family should not be closed in on itself; like the Holy Family, it has a mission. It must promote God’s message in the world through example and action. Do I give example to the members of my family? Do I strive to be an apostle both inside and outside the home?

Conversation with Christ: Lord, thank you for sanctifying family life by your presence. I want to discover you more in my family and those around me. Help me to accompany my loved ones in their moments of both joy and sorrow. You are with us, Lord. Help us to be your apostles.

Resolution: I will take a moment to listen attentively to and speak with a member of my family who may not have received much attention from me recently.


42 posted on 12/30/2011 8:15:02 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

A Meditation on the Holy Family

December 30th, 2011 by Food For Thought

First Reading: Sirach 3:2-7, 12-14
Psalm: Psalm 128:1-5
Second Reading: Colossians 3:12-21 or 3:12-17
Gospel: Luke 2:22-40 or 2:22, 39-40

As much as Joseph and Mary are the parents of Jesus, the Son of God,
they were also ordinary people who followed traditional customs and
complied with the laws of their nation. They were perhaps surprised
by the attention given by Simeon and Anna to Jesus and they were
most probably very anxious about the importance of their son in the
future.

Nevertheless, they raised Jesus as any normal parents would raise
their son. They taught him and disciplined him. Jesus probably had
to do daily chores and learn basic education like any other boy and
girl living in Nazareth. Joseph probably had to work hard for a
living and Mary did her share of the housework.

Perhaps it is this ordinary life Joseph, Mary, and Jesus led that
make them a role model for any modern Christian family. Even though
they led a typical family life, they also led a life surrounded by
love, responsibility and caring for each other.

We have perhaps read and heard of the difficulties and challenges of
the family in the 21st century. Maybe we have experienced these
difficulties ourselves. Perhaps we worry how our children will grow
up or how we can continue providing for their basic needs and
education. But if we remember Jesus, Mary, and Joseph and their
commitment to each other despite all their difficulties, we can draw
from this and realize that our families too can weather and hurdle
any challenge or obstacle. It takes responsibility, commitment, and
most of all – love.

PRAYER
“Lord, may I never cease to hope in you and to trust in your
promises. Inflame my zeal for your kingdom and increase my love for
prayer, that I may never cease to give you praise and worship”.


43 posted on 12/30/2011 8:28:28 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

 


<< Friday, December 30, 2011 >> Holy Family
Saint of the Day
 
Genesis 15:1-6; 21:1-3
Hebrews 11:8, 11-12, 17-19

View Readings
Psalm 105:1-4, 6-9
Luke 2:22-40

 

THE PAIN AND PROMISE OF FAMILY

 
"The Child's father and mother were marveling at what was being said about Him." —Luke 2:33
 

Many people idealize the Holy Family. Because Jesus is God, Mary is immaculate, and Joseph is holy, their family relationships must have been almost perfect. However, that's not the picture the Bible gives us of the Holy Family. The only scene from Jesus' childhood that we are told about is when Mary and Joseph lost Jesus for three days. You can imagine the peasant couple frantically searching for their twelve-year-old Boy in the metropolis of Jerusalem. When they finally found Him in the Temple, they asked: "Son, why have You done this to us? You see that Your father and I have been searching for You in sorrow" (Lk 2:48). You can almost hear the pain and bewilderment in Mary's voice.

Most people can relate to this trauma more easily than to the holiness of the Holy Family. Many of us are likewise searching for members of our families. We're searching for lost loved ones and for lost love. In sorrow and in pain, we search for acceptance, respect, encouragement, or hope. We can understand the pain of a three-day separation or even of three days in the tomb.

God's Word to us on this Holy Family Sunday promises us that our searching and sorrowing will end when we find Jesus. Then we will find love and peace for us and our families.

 
Prayer: Father, by Your grace I decide to forgive everyone, especially my family members, as You have forgiven me (Col 3:13).
Promise: "This Child is destined to be the downfall and the rise of many." —Lk 2:34
Praise: Praise to You, risen Lord Jesus! You sanctified families by living for thirty years in The Holy Family. "Give to the Lord, you families...give to the Lord glory and praise" (Ps 96:7-8).

44 posted on 12/30/2011 8:36:15 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

December 30, Feast of the Holy Family

Today is the feast day of the Holy Family, but also every family's feast day, since the Holy Family is the patron and model of all Christian families. Today should be a huge family feast, since it is devoted entirely to the Holy Family as a model for the Christian family life. As Rev. Edward Sutfin states:

"The children must learn to see in their father the foster-father St. Joseph, and the Blessed Mother as the perfect model for their own mother. The lesson to be learned is both practical and theoretical, in that the children must learn how to obey and to love their parents in thought, word and action, just as Christ was obedient to Mary and Joseph. Helping mother in the kitchen and in the house work, and helping father in his odd jobs about the home thus take on a new significance by being performed in a Christ-like spirit." (True Christmas Spirit, ©1955, St. Meinrad Archabbey, Inc.)

 
 
A blessed Sixth Day of Christmas to all of you!

45 posted on 12/30/2011 8:40:17 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Prayer for the Unborn

Heavenly Father, in Your love for us, protect against the wickedness of the devil, those helpless little ones to whom You have given the gift of life.

Touch with pity the hearts of those women pregnant in our world today who are not thinking of motherhood.

Help them to see that the child they carry is made in Your image - as well as theirs - made for eternal life.

Dispel their fear and selfishness and give them true womanly hearts to love their babies and give them birth and all the needed care that a mother can give.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, Your Son, Our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen.

46 posted on 12/30/2011 8:52:17 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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