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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 12-30-12, Feast, Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 12-30-12 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 12/29/2012 9:28:58 PM PST by Salvation

December 30, 2012

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

 

Reading 1 Sir 3:2-6, 12-14

God sets a father in honor over his children;
a mother's authority he confirms over her sons.
Whoever honors his father atones for sins,
and preserves himself from them.
When he prays, he is heard;
he stores up riches who reveres his mother.
Whoever honors his father is gladdened by children,
and, when he prays, is heard.
Whoever reveres his father will live a long life;
he who obeys his father brings comfort to his mother.

My son, take care of your father when he is old;
grieve him not as long as he lives.
Even if his mind fail, be considerate of him;
revile him not all the days of his life;
kindness to a father will not be forgotten,
firmly planted against the debt of your sins
--a house raised in justice to you.

or 1Sm 1:20-22, 24-28

In those days Hannah conceived, and at the end of her term bore a son
whom she called Samuel, since she had asked the LORD for him.
The next time her husband Elkanah was going up
with the rest of his household
to offer the customary sacrifice to the LORD and to fulfill his vows,
Hannah did not go, explaining to her husband,
"Once the child is weaned,
I will take him to appear before the LORD
and to remain there forever;
I will offer him as a perpetual nazirite."

Once Samuel was weaned, Hannah brought him up with her,
along with a three-year-old bull,
an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine,
and presented him at the temple of the LORD in Shiloh.
After the boy's father had sacrificed the young bull,
Hannah, his mother, approached Eli and said:
"Pardon, my lord!
As you live, my lord,
I am the woman who stood near you here, praying to the LORD.
I prayed for this child, and the LORD granted my request.
Now I, in turn, give him to the LORD;
as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the LORD."
Hannah left Samuel there.

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.

Reading 2 Col 3:12-21

Brothers and sisters:
Put on, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved,
heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,
bearing with one another and forgiving one another,
if one has a grievance against another;
as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.
And over all these put on love,
that is, the bond of perfection.
And let the peace of Christ control your hearts,
the peace into which you were also called in one body.
And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,
as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another,
singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs
with gratitude in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do, in word or in deed,
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Wives, be subordinate to your husbands,
as is proper in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives,
and avoid any bitterness toward them.
Children, obey your parents in everything,
for this is pleasing to the Lord.
Fathers, do not provoke your children,
so they may not become discouraged.

or Col 3:12-17

Brothers and sisters:
Put on, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved,
heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,
bearing with one another and forgiving one another,
if one has a grievance against another;
as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.
And over all these put on love,
that is, the bond of perfection.
And let the peace of Christ control your hearts,
the peace into which you were also called in one body.
And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,
as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another,
singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs
with gratitude in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do, in word or in deed,
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.

or 1 Jn 3:1-2, 21-24

Beloved:
See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
And so we are.
The reason the world does not know us
is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God's children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.

Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us,
we have confidence in God and receive from him whatever we ask,
because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
And his commandment is this:
we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ,
and love one another just as he commanded us.
Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them,
and the way we know that he remains in us
is from the Spirit he gave us.

Gospel Lk 2:41-52

Each year Jesus' parents went to Jerusalem for the feast
of Passover,
and when he was twelve years old,
they went up according to festival custom.
After they had completed its days, as they were returning,
the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem,
but his parents did not know it.
Thinking that he was in the caravan,
they journeyed for a day
and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances,
but not finding him,
they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.
After three days they found him in the temple,
sitting in the midst of the teachers,
listening to them and asking them questions,
and all who heard him were astounded
at his understanding and his answers.
When his parents saw him,
they were astonished,
and his mother said to him,
"Son, why have you done this to us?
Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety."
And he said to them,
"Why were you looking for me?
Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?"
But they did not understand what he said to them.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth,
and was obedient to them;
and his mother kept all these things in her heart.
And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor
before God and man.


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

1 posted on 12/29/2012 9:29:11 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 12/29/2012 9:45:46 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All
 
Adoration of the Shepherds, by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 1650-5
 

3 posted on 12/29/2012 9:48:03 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 rela-
tionship between children and their parents: honoring one’s parents brings bles-
sings.

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.


4 posted on 12/29/2012 9:57:16 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All

From: 1 Samuel 1:20-22, 24-28

Birth of Samuel (conclusion)


[20] [A]nd in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his
name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked him of the LORD.”

Consecration of Samuel


[21] And the man Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the LORD the
yearly sacrifice, and to pay his vow. [22] 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.”

[24] 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. [25] Then they slew
the bull, and they brought the child to Eli. [26] And she said, “Oh, my lord! As
you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, pra-
ying to the LORD. [27] For this child I prayed; and the LORD has granted me my
petition which I made to him. [28] Therefore I have lent him to the LORD; as long
as he lives, he is lent to the LORD.”

And they worshipped the LORD there.

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

1:1-7:17. The books of Samuel begin with an account of the birth of the man from
whom they take their name, that is, Samuel, who will become a judge of Israel
and a prophet. The beginning is like the book of Exodus, which also begins with
a birth — that of Moses. In fact, many of Moses’ features apply to Samuel: just
as Moses inaugurated a new and very important stage in the history of the peo-
ple, so Samuel marks the start of the monarchical period, which will forever leave
its imprint on the religious profile of Israel.

The story of Samuel comprises only the first part of 1 Samuel, the first seven
chapters, which also contain the history of the ark. The narrative includes three
distinct accounts arranged in such a way that the first and last have the same
protagonist — the birth, calling and activity of Samuel as a prophet (chaps. 1-3),
the history of the ark (chaps. 4-6), and then Samuel’s activity as a judge (chap.
7). Although these narratives may have been independent originally, in the final
biblical text they form a perfect unity in doctrinal terms, from the point of view of
the setting of events (the shrine at Shiloh), and in the identity of their protago-
nists, Samuel and the priests, the sons of Eli. The shrine at Shiloh, which was
located between Bethel and Shechem and which was a main centre of worship
in the era of the judges (Judg 21:19-21), acquires special importance at this
point: Shiloh will be where the monarchical power begins, and its splendour will
transfer to the temple of Jerusalem when the ark moves there.

The sons of Eli were the last priests of Shiloh. Whereas Samuel was perfectly
faithful to the will of God, the Sons of Eli had gradually corrupted the practices
of their priestly function; with their death, the temple at Shiloh ceases to have
any importance.

The doctrinal thread moving through the three episodes is God’s active interven-
tion in all these important events in the life of the people: to him is due the prodi-
gy of Samuel’s birth (1:1-20) — Samuel, the man chosen to open the way to the
monarchy; it is God who exposes the sin of the sons of Eli (chap. 2) and initiates
the charming dialogue in which Samuel receives his calling (chap. 3). In the epi-
sode of the ark, it is the Lord who punishes his people by taking away the ark,
the sign of his presence (chap. 4); it is he who visits countless misfortunes on
the Philistines who have taken possession of the ark (chap. 5) and it is he who
forces them to return it to Israel, which receives it with delight (chap. 6). Finally,
the Lord makes Samuel a judge over his people (chap. 5), able to exercise his
function at all the shrines of Israel — in Bethel, Gilgal and Mizpah (7:15).

From the very start, the book of Samuel is a sort of religious interpretation of his-
tory, in the sense that it puts more emphasis on the meaning of the events it nar-
rates than on their chronological order or their geographical situation. Samuel is
a figure of Christ who will initiate the final stage of salvation through his complete
obedience to the will of God (cf. Phil 2:8).

1:1-28. Samuel’s birth is described with all the elements denoting a miraculous
event, emphasizing divine intervention and the child’s importance. With no hope
of a human solution, a childless woman, humiliated by her husband’s (other) fer-
tile wife, seeks a way out of her anguish by asking God, her only hope, to give
her a son. Her husband loves her, but he cannot understand her (v. 8); Eli, the
priest and head of the shrine at Shiloh, comes to bless her but even he cannot
understand her (vv. 15-17). God is the only one who listens to her, and he ac-
cepts the vow she has made to him (v. 11). Hannah follows in the line of Sarah,
Rachel and the mother of Samson — other women in whom the action of God
could be seen very clearly when he took away the stigma of their barrenness.
But, above all, she is the prototype of the devout woman who perseveres in pra-
yer, convinced that it will be heard. “Why is it necessary to list here all those
who, by praying as they ought to do, won from God the greatest gifts? For it
would be easy for anyone to take an abundant sample of cases based in holy
Scripture. Hannah gave birth to Samuel, who was to be compared with Moses
himself (cf. Jer 15:1), because although she was sterile, she had faith and
prayed to the Lord (1 Sam 1:9ff). [...]

How many favours each of us could tell of if we recalled with gratitude the gifts
we have received in order to praise God for them! Once they have been watered
by the grace of the Holy Spirit through constant prayer, souls that have gone for
a long time without bearing fruit, sterile in the most noble part of their being and
with the signs of death on their souls, think wholesome thoughts and are filled
with the knowledge of the truth” (Origen, “De Oratione”, 13, 2-3). Hannah, who
will bear Samuel in her womb, is a figure of Mary and also “a symbol of the
Church which carries the Lord. Her prayer is not clamorous, rather it is calm
and refined; she prays in the depths of her heart because she knows that God
listens to her there” (St Cyprian, “De Oratione Dominica”, 5).

Samuel comes into the world as a gift from God; he is the one who was “asked
for of the Lord” (cf. v. 20), according to a popular etymology of his name. His
mission on earth will be as exceptional as his birth; Hannah presents him at the
shrine: “as long as he lives he is lent to the Lord” (v. 28). Samuel is brought up
by the priest at the shrine of Shiloh (cf. Judg 18:31; 21:19), that is, within the
ancient institutions of the time of the judges; thus, the new institutions he will
establish do not imply any break with or rejection of what went before.

*********************************************************************************************
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 12/29/2012 9:58:55 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 12/29/2012 9:59:43 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All

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

We are Children of God


[1] 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. [2] 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.

Loving One Another (Continuation)


[21] Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God;
[22] and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his command-
ments and do what pleases him. [23] 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. [24] 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.

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

1-24. This entire chapter shows how moved the Apostle is when he contem-
plates the marvelous gift of divine filiation. The Holy Spirit, who is the author of
all Sacred Scripture, has desired John to pass on to us this unique revelation:
we are children of God (v. 1).

It is not easy to divide the chapter into sections, because the style is very cy-
clic and colloquial and includes many repetitions and further thoughts which
make for great vividness and freshness. However, we can distinguish an ope-
ning proclamation of the central message (vv. 1-2) and emphasis on two re-
quirements of divine filiation — rejection of sin in any shape or form (vv. 3-10),
and brotherly love lived to the full (vv. 11-24).

1. “We should be called children of God”: the original Hebrew expression,
which reads “we are called...”, is also used by our Lord in the Beatitudes (cf.
Mt 5:9): “to be called” means the same as “to be called by God”; and in the
language of the Bible, when God gives someone a name he is not simply con-
ferring a title but is causing the thing that the name indicates (cf., e.g., Gen
17:5), for the word of God is efficacious, it does what it says it will do; hence,
St John’s adding: “and so we are.”

Therefore, it is not just a matter of a metaphorical title, or a legal fiction, or
adoption human-style: divine filiation is an essential feature of a Christian’s life,
a marvelous fact whereby God gratuitously gives men a strictly supernatural
dignity, an intimacy with God whereby they are “domestici Dei”, “members of
the household of God” (Eph 2:19). This explains the tone of amazement and
joy with which St John passes on this revelation.

This sense of divine filiation is one of the central points in the spirituality of
Opus Dei. Its founder wrote: “We do not exist in order to pursue just any hap-
piness. We have been called to penetrate the intimacy of God’s own life, to
know and love God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, and to
love also — in that same love of the one God in three divine Persons — the an-
gels and all men.

“This is the great boldness of the Christian faith—to proclaim the value and dig-
nity of human nature and to affirm that we have been created to obtain the dig-
nity of children of God, through the grace that raises us up to a supernatural
level. An incredible boldness it would be, were it not founded on the promise
of salvation given us by God the Father, confirmed by the blood of Christ, and
reaffirmed and made possible by the constant action of the Holy Spirit” (”Christ
Is Passing By”, 133).

“The world does not know us, (because) it did not know him”: these words are
reminiscent of our Lord’s at the Last Supper: “the hour is coming when whoever
kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do this because
they have not known the Father, nor me” (Jn 16:2-3). Divine filiation brings with
it communion and a mysterious identification between Christ and the Christian.

2. The indescribable gift of divine filiation, which the world does not know (v. 1),
is not fully experienced by Christians, because the seeds of divine life which it
contains will only reach their full growth in eternal life, when we see him “as he
is”, “face to face” (1 Cor 13:12); “this is eternal life, that they know thee the on-
ly true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent” (Jn 17:3). In that direct
sight of God as he is, and of all things in God, the life of grace and divine filia-
tion achieve their full growth. Man is not naturally able to see God face to face;
he needs to be enlightened by a special light, which is given the technical theo-
logical name of “lumen gloriae”, light of glory. This does not allow him to “take
in” all God (no created thing could do that), but it does allow him to look at God
directly.

Commenting on this verse, the “St Pius V Catechism” explains that “beatitude
consists of two things—that we shall behold God such as he is in his own na-
ture and substance; and that we ourselves shall become, as it were, gods. For
those who enjoy God while they retain their own nature, assume a certain ad-
mirable and almost divine form, so as to seem gods rather than men” (I, 13, 7).

“When he appears”: two interpretations are possible, given that in Greek the
verb has no subject: “when (what we shall be) is revealed we shall be as he is”;
or, as the New Vulgate translates it, “when he (Christ) is revealed we will be
like him (Christ)”. The second interpretation is the more likely.

19-22. The Apostle reassures us: God knows everything; not only does he
know our sins and our frailties, he also knows our repentance and our good
desires, and he understands and forgives us (St Peter, on the Lake of Tiberias,
made the same confession to Jesus: “Lord, you know everything, you know
that I love you”: Jn 21:17).

St John’s teaching on divine mercy is very clear: if our conscience tells us we
have done wrong, we can seek forgiveness and strengthen our hope in God; if
our conscience does not accuse us, our confidence in God is ardent and bold,
like that of a child who has loving experience of his Father’s tenderness. The
love of God is mightier than our sins, Pope John Paul II reminds us: “When we
realize that God’s love for us does not cease in the face of our sin or recoil be-
fore our offenses, but becomes even more attentive and generous; when we rea-
lize that this love went so far as to cause the Passion and Death of the Word
made flesh who consented to redeem us at the price of his own blood, then we
exclaim in gratitude: ‘Yes, the Lord is rich in mercy’, and even: ‘The Lord is mer-
cy”’ (”Reconciliatio Et Paenitentia”, 22).

This confidence in God makes for confidence in prayer: “If you abide in me, and
my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you” (Jn
15:7; cf. 14:13f; 16:23, 26-27).

23-24. The commandments of God are summed up here in terms of love for Je-
sus and love for the brethren. “We cannot rightly love one another unless we be-
lieve in Christ; nor can we truly believe in the name of Jesus Christ without bro-
therly love” (St Bede, “In I Epist. S. Ioannis, ad loc.”). Faith and love cannot be
separated (cf. Gal 5:6); our Lord himself told us what would mark his disciples
out — their love for one another (Jn 13:34-35).

Keeping the commandments confirms to the Christian that he is abiding in God:
“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love” (Jn 15:10). More-
over, it ensures that God abides in his soul, by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit:
“If you love me you will keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father,
and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever” (Jn 14:15-16).

“May God be your house and you God’s; dwell in God that God may dwell in
you. God dwells in you to support you; you dwell in God in order not to fall.
Keep the commandments, have charity” (”In I Epist. S. loannis, ad 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 12/29/2012 10:00:45 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All

From: Luke 2:41-52

The Finding in the Temple


[41] Now his (Jesus’s) parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the
Passover. [42] And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to
custom; [43] and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Je-
sus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, [44] but supposing
him to be in the company they went a day’s journey, and they sought him among
their kinsfolk and acquaintances; [45] and when they did not find him, they re-
turned to Jerusalem, seeking him. [46] And after three days they found him in the
temple sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions;
[47] and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
[48] And when they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him,
“Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking
for you anxiously.” [49] And he said to them, “How is it that you sought me? Did
you not know that I must be in my Father’s house ?” [50] And they did not under-
stand the saying which he spoke to them.

The Hidden Life of Jesus at Nazareth


[51] And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to
them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. [52] And Jesus increased
in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man.

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

41. Only St Luke (2:41-50) reports the event of the Child Jesus being lost and
then found in the temple, which we contemplate in the “Fifth Joyful Mystery” of
the Rosary.

Only males aged twelve and upwards were required to make this journey. Naza-
reth is about 100 km (60 miles) from Jerusalem as the crow flies, but the hilly na-
ture of the country would have made it a trip of 140 km.

43-44. On pilgrimages to Jerusalem, the Jews used to go in two groups — one of
men, the other of women. Children could go with either group. This explains how
they could go a day’s journey before they discovered the Child was missing when
the families regrouped to camp.

“Mary is crying. In vain you and I have run from group to group, from caravan to
caravan. No one has seen him. Joseph, after fruitless attempts to keep from cry-
ing, cries too.... And you.... And I.

‘Being a common little fellow, I cry my eyes out and wail to heaven and earth...,
to make up for the times when I lost him through my own fault and did not cry”
(St. J. Escriva, “Holy Rosary”, Fifth Joyful Mystery).

45. The concern which Mary and Joseph show in looking for the Child should
encourage us always to seek Jesus out, particularly if we lose him through sin.
“Jesus, may I never lose you again.... Now you and I are united in misfortune
and grief, as were united in sin. And from the depths of our being comes sighs
of heartfelt sorrow and burning phrases which the pen cannot and should not re-
cord” (”Holy Rosary”, Fifth Joyful Mystery).

46-47. The Child Jesus must have been in the courtyard of the temple, which
was where the teachers usually taught. Listeners used to sit at their feet, now
and again asking questions and responding to them. This was what Jesus did,
but his questions and answers attracted the teachers’ attention, he was so wise
and well-informed.

48. Ever since the Annunciation our Lady had known that the Child Jesus was
God. This faith was the basis of her generous fidelity throughout her life — but
there was no reason why it should include detailed knowledge of all the sacrifi-
ces God would ask of her, nor of how Christ would go about his mission of re-
demption: that was something she would discover as time went by, contempla-
ting her Son’s life.

49. Christ’s reply is a form of explanation. His words—his first words to be recor-
ded in the Gospel—clearly show his divine Sonship; and they also show his deter-
mination to fulfill the will of his Eternal Father. “He does not upbraid them — Mary
and Joseph—for searching for their son, but he raises the eyes of their souls to
appreciate what he owes him whose Eternal Son he is” (St Bede, “In Lucae Evan-
gelium Expositio, in loc.”). Jesus teaches us that over and above any human au-
thority, even that of our parents, there is the primary duty to do the will of God.
“And once we are consoled by the joy of finding Jesus — three days he was gone!
— debating with the teachers of Israel (Lk 2:46), you and I shall be left deeply im-
pressed by the duty to leave our home and family to serve our heavenly Father”
(St. J. Escriva, “Holy Rosary”, Fifth Joyful Mystery”). See note on Mt 10:34-37.

50. We must remember that Jesus knew in detail the whole course his earthly
life would take from his conception onwards (cf. note on Lk 2:52). This is shown
by what he says in reply to his parents. Mary and Joseph realized that his reply
contained a deeper meaning which they did not grasp. They grew to understand
it as the life of their Child unfolded. Mary’s and Joseph’s faith and their reverence
towards the Child led them not to ask any further questions but to reflect on Je-
sus’ words and behavior in this instance, as they had done so on other occa-
sions.

51. The Gospel sums up Jesus’ life in Nazareth in just three words: “erat subdi-
tus illis”, he was obedient to them. “Jesus obeys, and he obeys Joseph and Ma-
ry. God has come to the world to obey, and to obey creatures. Admittedly they
are very perfect creatures — Holy Mary, our mother, greater than whom God a-
lone; and that most chaste man Joseph. But they are only creatures, and yet
Jesus, who is God, obeyed them. We have to love God so as to love his will and
desire to respond to his calls. They come to us through the duties of our ordina-
ry life — duties of state, profession, work, family, social life, our own and other
people’s difficulties, friendship, eagerness to do what is right and just” (St. J.
Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 17).

Jesus lived like any other inhabitant of Nazareth, working at the same trade as
St Joseph and earning his living by the sweat of his brow. “His hidden years are
not without significance, nor were they simply a preparation for the years which
were to come after—those of his public life. Since 1928 I have understood clearly
that God wants our Lord’s whole life to be an example for Christians. I saw this
with special reference to his hidden life, the years he spent working side by side
with ordinary men. Our Lord wants many people to ratify their vocation during
years of quiet, unspectacular living. Obeying God’s will always means leaving
our selfishness behind, but there is no reason why it should entail cutting our-
selves off from the normal life of ordinary people who share the same status,
work and social position with us.

“I dream—and the dream has come true—of multitudes of God’s children, sancti-
fying themselves as ordinary citizens, sharing the ambitions and endeavors of
their colleagues and friends. I want to shout to them about this divine truth: If you
are there in the middle of ordinary life, it doesn’t mean Christ has forgotten about
you or hasn’t called you. He has invited you to stay among the activities and con-
cerns of the world. He wants you to know that your human vocation, your profes-
sion, your talents, are not omitted from his divine plans. He has sanctified them
and made them a most acceptable offering to his Father” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ
Is Passing By”, 20).

52. As far as his human nature was concerned Jesus matured like anyone else.
His growth in wisdom should be seen as referring to experiential knowledge —
knowledge acquired by his mind from sense experience and general experience
of life. It can also be taken as referring to the external expression of his wisdom;
in this sense everything he did was done perfectly, in keeping with whatever age
he was at the time.

As man Jesus had three kinds of knowledge: 1. “The knowledge of the blessed”
(vision of the divine essence) by virtue of the hypostatic union (the union of his
human nature with his divine nature in the one person of the Word). This know-
ledge did not allow of any increase. 2. “Infused knowledge”, which perfected his
intellect and which meant that he knew everything, even hidden things; thus he
was able to read men’s hearts. Here again his knowledge was complete; it could
not grow. 3. “Acquired knowledge”: he acquired new knowledge through sense
experience and reflection; logically, this knowledge increased as time went by.

As far as grace, in the strict sense of the word, was concerned, Jesus could not
grow. From the first instant of his conception he possessed grace in all its full-
ness because he was true God by virtue of the hypostatic union. As St Thomas
explains: “The end of grace is the union of the rational creature with God. But
there can neither be nor be conceived a greater union of the rational creature
with God than that which is in the person of Christ [...]. Hence it is clear that
the grace of Christ cannot be increased on the part of grace. But neither can it
be increased on the part of Christ, since Christ as man was a true and full ‘com-
prehensor from the first instant of his conception. Hence there could have been
no increase of grace in him” (”Summa Theologiae”, Ill, q.7, a.12).

However, we can speak of his growing in grace in the sense of the “effects” of
grace. In the last analysis, this matter is one of the mysteries of our faith, which
our minds cannot fully grasp. How small God would be if we were able fully to fa-
thom this mystery! That Christ should conceal his infinite power and wisdom by
becoming a Child teaches our pride a great lesson.

*********************************************************************************************
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.


8 posted on 12/29/2012 10:02:05 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

Readings at Mass


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 1 Samuel 1:20-22,24-28 ©
Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son, and called him Samuel ‘since’ she said ‘I asked the Lord for him.’
  When a year had gone by, the husband Elkanah went up again with all his family to offer the annual sacrifice to the Lord and to fulfil his vow. Hannah, however, did not go up, having said to her husband, ‘Not before the child is weaned. Then I will bring him and present him before the Lord and he shall stay there for ever.’
  When she had weaned him, she took him up with her together with a three-year old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and she brought him to the temple of the Lord at Shiloh; and the child was with them. They slaughtered the bull and the child’s mother came to Eli. She said, ‘If you please, my lord. As you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you, praying to the Lord. This is the child I prayed for, and the Lord granted me what I asked him. Now I make him over to the Lord for the whole of his life. He is made over to the Lord.’


Psalm Psalm 127:1-5

Psalm Psalm 83:2-3,5-6,9-10


Second reading Colossians 3:12-21 ©
You are God’s chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together as parts of one body. Always be thankful.
  Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God; and never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Wives, give way to your husbands, as you should in the Lord.
  Husbands, love your wives and treat them with gentleness. Children, be obedient to your parents always, because that is what will please the Lord. Parents, never drive your children to resentment or you will make them feel frustrated.

Second reading Colossians 3:12-17 ©
You are God’s chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together as parts of one body. Always be thankful.
  Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God; and never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Second reading 1 John 3:1-2,21-24 ©
Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us,
by letting us be called God’s children;
and that is what we are.
Because the world refused to acknowledge him,
therefore it does not acknowledge us.
My dear people, we are already the children of God
but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed;
all we know is, that when it is revealed
we shall be like him
because we shall see him as he really is.
My dear people,
if we cannot be condemned by our own conscience,
we need not be afraid in God’s presence,
and whatever we ask him,
we shall receive,
because we keep his commandments
and live the kind of life that he wants.
His commandments are these:
that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ
and that we love one another
as he told us to.
Whoever keeps his commandments
lives in God and God lives in him.
We know that he lives in us
by the Spirit that he has given us.


Gospel Acclamation cf.Ac16:14
Alleluia, alleluia!
Open our heart, O Lord,
to accept the words of your Son.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 2:41-52 ©
Every year the parents of Jesus used to go to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up for the feast as usual. When they were on their way home after the feast, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem without his parents knowing it. They assumed he was with the caravan, and it was only after a day’s journey that they went to look for him among their relations and acquaintances. When they failed to find him they went back to Jerusalem looking for him everywhere.
  Three days later, they found him in the Temple, sitting among the doctors, listening to them, and asking them questions; and all those who heard him were astounded at his intelligence and his replies. They were overcome when they saw him, and his mother said to him, ‘My child, why have, you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you.’ ‘Why were you looking for me?’ he replied ‘Did you not know that I must be busy with my Father’s affairs?’ But they did not understand what he meant.
  He then went down with them and came to Nazareth and lived under their authority. His mother stored up all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom, in stature, and in favour with God and men.

9 posted on 12/29/2012 10:10:22 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All

On the Faith of Mary, the Virgin Mother of Christ
Father Cantalamessa's 1st Advent Sermon (Catholic Caucus)
On The Unfolding of God's Self-Revelation
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Archbishop Chaput says Year of Faith holds solution to relativism
Following the Truth: The Year Of Faith – 10 Things You Should Know [Catholic Caucus]
Papal Encyclical on Faith Announced

On the Desire for God
On the Ecclesial Nature of Faith
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Pope will deliver year-long teaching series on restoring faith
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Catholic Church Calls for Public Prayers in Offices on Fridays
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Vatican to Issue Recommendations for Celebrating Year of Faith

10 posted on 12/29/2012 10:12:54 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All
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5 Ways to Keep the Christmas Spirit Alive in Your Heart
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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
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The Many Meanings of Christmas
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"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': 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]

11 posted on 12/29/2012 10:13:38 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All

 

  PRAYERS AFTER
HOLY MASS AND COMMUNION

 


Leonine Prayers
    Following are the Prayers after Low Mass which were prescribed by Pope Leo XIII who composed the Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel, and were reinforced by Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius XII to pray for the conversion of Russia. Below the normal Leonine Prayers is the longer version of the Prayer to St. Michael, composed by His Excellency Pope Leo XIII to defend against The Great Apostasy.
Latin

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum, benedicta tu in mulieribus et benedictus fructis ventris tui, Jesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.
(Said 3 times)

    Salve Regina, Mater misericordiae, vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve. Ad te clamamus, exsules filii Evae. Ad te suspiramus gementes et fientes in hac lacrymarum valle. Eia ergo, Advocata nostra, illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte. Et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui, nobis, post hoc exilium, ostende. O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genitrix. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

    Oremus. Deus, refugium nostrum et virtus, populum ad te clamantem propitius respice; et intercedente gloriosa, et immaculata Virgine Dei Genitrice Maria, cum beato Joseph, ejus Sponso, ac beatis Apostolis tuis Petro et Paulo, et omnibus Sanctis, quas pro conversione peccatorum, pro libertate et exaltatione sanctae Matris Ecclesiae, preces effundimus, misericors et benignus exaudi. Per eundum Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio; contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur: tuque, Princeps militiae Caelestis, satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo, divina virtute in infernum detrude. Amen.

Cor Jesu sacratissimum. Miserere nobis.
Cor Jesu sacratissimum. Miserere nobis.
Cor Jesu sacratissimum. Miserere nobis.

Vernacular

   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 at the hour of our death. Amen.
(Said 3 times)

   Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee to we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mouring and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this 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.

   Let us pray.
O God, our refuge and our strength, look down with mercy upon the people who cry to Thee; and by the intercession of the glorious and immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of Saint Joseph her spouse, of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, in Thy mercy and goodness hear our prayers for the conversion of sinners, and for the liberty and exaltation of the Holy Mother the Church. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

   Saint 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, thrust into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.


Complete Prayer to Saint Michael
    The following is the longer version of the vital prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII in 1888 after his startling vision as to the future of the Church. This prayer was dedicated for the Feast of St. Michael 1448 years from the date of the election of the first Leo - Pope Saint Leo the Great. Everyone is familiar with the first prayer below which was mandated by His Holiness as part of the Leonine Prayers after Low Mass. Below are both the short and longer versions of this poignant prayer which should never be forgotten.

    Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray, and do thou, O heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.

    V: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
    R: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
    V: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
    R: As we have hoped in Thee.
    V: O Lord hear my prayer.
    R: And let my cry come unto Thee.

    V: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls. Amen.


Prayer Before the Crucifix

   Look down upon me, O good and gentle Jesus, while before Thy face I humbly kneel, and with burning soul pray and beseech Thee to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment; the while I contemplate with great love and tender pity Thy five most precious wounds, pondering over them within me, calling to mind the words which David Thy prophet said of Thee, my good Jesus: "They have pierced My hands and My feet; they have numbered all My bones."

Indulgence of ten years; a plenary indulgence if recited after devout reception of Holy Communion, Raccolta 201)

Anima Christi - Soul of Christ

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within Thy wounds, hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee.
From the malignant enemy, defend me.
In the hour of my death, call me.
And bid me come to Thee, that with
Thy saints I may praise Thee for ever and ever. Amen.

Indulgence of 300 days; if recited after devout reception of Holy Communion, seven years Raccolta 131)

Prayer for Vocations

   O Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst take to Thyself a body and soul like ours, to teach us the glory of self-sacrifice and service, mercifully deign to instill in other hearts the desire to dedicate their lives to Thee. Give us PRIESTS to stand before Thine Altar and to preach the words of Thy Gospel; BROTHERS to assist the priests and to reproduce in themselves Thy humility; SISTERS to teach the young and nurse the sick and to minister Thy charity to all; LAY PEOPLE to imitate Thee in their homes and families. Amen

12 posted on 12/29/2012 10:14:49 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)
13 posted on 12/29/2012 10:15:53 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]
14 posted on 12/29/2012 10:16:45 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.


15 posted on 12/29/2012 10:17:54 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, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there 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 Glorious Mysteries
(Wednesdays and Sundays)
1.The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-18, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-29) [Spiritual fruit - Faith]
2. The Ascension (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:6-11) [Spiritual fruit - Christian Hope]
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-13) [Spiritual fruit - Gifts of the Holy Spirit]
4. The Assumption [Spiritual fruit - To Jesus through Mary]
5. The Coronation [Spiritual fruit - Grace of Final Perseverance]


16 posted on 12/29/2012 10:22:22 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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~ 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
+

17 posted on 12/29/2012 10:23:58 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All

A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
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"

   

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.


18 posted on 12/29/2012 10:31:17 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.

The Immaculate Conception from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

To become the mother of the Savior, Mary “was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.”  The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as “full of grace”. In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God’s grace.

Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:

The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.

The “splendor of an entirely unique holiness” by which Mary is “enriched from the first instant of her conception” comes wholly from Christ: she is “redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son”. The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person “in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” and chose her “in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love”.

The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God “the All-Holy” (Panagia), and celebrate her as “free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature”.  By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.

 

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


Litany of the Blessed Virgin

Lord, have mercy on us
Christ, have mercy on us
Lord, have mercy on us
Christ, hear us
Christ, graciously hear us

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us God the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us God the Holy Spirit, ...
Holy Trinity, one God, ...

Holy Mary, pray for us
Holy Mother of God, pray for us
Holy Virgin of virgins, ...
Mother of Christ, ...
Mother of Divine Grace, ...
Mother most pure, ...
Mother most chaste, ...
Mother inviolate, ...
Mother undefiled, ...
Mother most amiable, ...
Mother most admirable, ...
Mother of good counsel, ...
Mother of our Creator, ...
Mother of our Saviour, ...
Virgin most prudent, ...
Virgin most venerable, ...
Virgin most renowned, ...
Virgin most powerful, ...
Virgin most merciful, ...
Virgin most faithful, ...
Mirror of justice, ...
Seat of wisdom, ...
Cause of our joy, ...
Spiritual vessel, ...
Vessel of honour, ...
Singular vessel of devotion, ...
Mystical rose, ...
Tower of David, ...
Tower of ivory, ...
House of gold, ...
Ark of the covenant, ...
Gate of heaven, ...
Morning star, ...
Health of the sick, ...
Refuge of sinners, ...
Comforter of the afflicted, ...
Help of Christians, ...
Queen of Angels, ...
Queen of Patriarchs, ...
Queen of Prophets, ...
Queen of Apostles, ...
Queen of Martyrs, ...
Queen of Confessors, ...
Queen of Virgins, ...
Queen of all Saints, ...
Queen conceived without original sin, ...
Queen assumed into heaven, ...
Queen of the most holy Rosary, ...
Queen of Peace, ...

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord, Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord, Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Grant we beseech Thee, O Lord God, 
that we, Thy servants,  may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body:  and, by the glorious intercession of the blessed Mary, ever Virgin,  be delivered from present sorrow and enjoy eternal gladness. 
Through Christ, our Lord. 

Amen.


 

Why Catholics Believe in the Immaculate Conception

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION NOVENA [Prayer]
Essays for Lent: The Immaculate Conception
"I Am The Immaculate Conception"
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]

19 posted on 12/29/2012 10:32:28 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All

December 2012

Pope's intentions

General Intention: That migrants throughout the world may be welcomed with generosity and authentic love, especially by Christian communities.

Missionary Intention: Christ, light for all humanity. That Christ may reveal himself to all humanity with the light that shines forth from Bethlehem and is reflected in the face of his Church.


20 posted on 12/29/2012 10:33:23 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All
Homily for December 30, 2012: Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Homily for December 30, 2012: Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

[Click here for readings]

I’m struck every year by the timing of this feast, celebrating the Holy Family.

It comes on the first Sunday following Christmas, when a lot of us have started to overdose on family.  In fact, after the parties and cooking and visiting and obligations and expectations and disappointments, some of us have had about as much “family” as we can take. Parents are wondering when the kids go back to school. A little togetherness goes a long way – for every generation.

But then comes this feast.  We are challenged to look at what it means to be family.  And our eyes turn toward the Christmas crèche, the nativity scene.

 During this time of year, we tend to sentimentalize the Holy Family – they become figures of plaster and paper, not flesh and blood. But we forget: they weren’t that different from us.  They were holy, yes.  But they were also human.

The story of the Holy Family is the story of life not always turning out the way you expected.  It’s the story of a teenage mother, conceiving a child before she was married.  It’s the story of an anxious father, confronting scandal, planning on divorce. It’s the story of a family forced to become refugees, living as immigrants in the land that once held their ancestors as slaves.  As we heard in today’s gospel, it’s the story of a missing child, and days of anxious searching by his parents.

But there is even more.  Mark’s gospel describes an incident in which the relatives of Jesus were so alarmed, they thought he had lost his mind, and set out to seize him.  Not long after came his violent death – one his mother watched with helplessness and almost unimaginable sorrow.

This family was holy.  But it was also human.   We need these reminders.  Especially now.

The Church calendar shows us that the Christmas season is one of light – but also of shadow.  The day after Christmas, we celebrate the feast of the first martyr, St. Stephen.  Then a couple days later, we mark the feast of the Holy Innocents, the children slaughtered by Herod.  The joy of Christ’s birth is suddenly tempered by tragic reminders of what the Incarnation cost.  And the Holy Family shared in that.  I saw that, vividly, just after Christmas.

A parishioner posted on Facebook some images of our Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.  They were beautiful. But I was struck by something that hadn’t occurred to me. In the pictures, I noticed, the light shines brightly on this nativity scene—the Holy Family and baby Jesus.  But a few feet away, very close, it shines just as brightly on the crucifix, and the dying Christ.  In the stable, the mother Mary looks down at a life beginning; at the foot of the cross, she looks up at a life ending.  It is just a few steps here from the wood of the manger to the wood the cross.  But in so many ways, the two singular events are inseparable.   One led inevitably to the other. Joy and sorrow are almost side by side, linked by sacrifice, by faith, and by love.  It is the story of our salvation.  And it is the story of the Holy Family.


The juxtaposition of those two images in this church, the crèche and the crucifix, serves as a powerful lesson for this feast. We realize that when we speak of the Holy Family, we speak of a family that struggled and suffered, like so many of us.

But: this family also knew profound hope.

They trusted completely in God. They call all of us to that kind of trust. And they are with us. In our own time, they stand beside all who worry, who struggle, who search, who pray.

The Holy Family stands beside parents anxious about their children, worrying for their welfare.

They walk with immigrants and refugees separated from those they love.

They comfort teenage mothers and single parents.

They console the prisoner, the outcast, the bullied, the scorned—and the parents who love them.

And they offer solace and compassion to any mother or father grieving over the loss of a child.

This Christmas, they weep with the parents of Newtown and Sandy Hook.

The Holy Family shares our burdens. But they also uplift us by their example. Jesus, Mary and Joseph were never alone. They endured through the grace of God.

They prayed. They hoped. They trusted in God’s will.

We might ask ourselves where we can find that kind of peace and purpose in our own families, in our own lives.

One answer is in Paul’s beautiful letter to the Colossians.

This passage that we hear today is sometimes read at weddings. Like Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians, it speaks eloquently of love.

But Paul wasn’t writing about romantic love. This letter is about how to form a healthy and holy Christian community.

And from his words, we can draw lessons about how to form a healthy and holy Christian family.

Put on compassion, Paul tells us. Kindness. Lowliness. Meekness. Patience. Forgiveness. And love.

It is all that simple — and all that difficult. I’m sure the Holy Family had moments when living those virtues seemed hard, or even impossible. But they did things most of us don’t. They listened to angels. They dreamed.

And they gave themselves fully to God.

They made of their lives a prayer.

If you find yourselves overwhelmed during the holidays, or even after, just look where we look today. Look toward the crèche. There is our model for living: Jesus, Mary and Joseph. But see them in full. Those three people were often overwhelmed, too. And in a time of anxiety and difficulty, persecution and tragedy—a time very much like our own–they showed us how to be people of faith, people of forgiveness, people of love.

They show us, in other words, how to be holy.


21 posted on 12/29/2012 10:49:09 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: Salvation
The Work of God

 Don’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house? Catholic Gospels - Homilies - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit

Year C

 -  The Holy Family

Don’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?

Don’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house? Catholic Gospels - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit Luke 2:41-52

41 And his parents went every year to Jerusalem, at the solemn day of the Passover,
42 And when he was twelve years old, they going up into Jerusalem, according to the custom of the feast,
43 And having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the child Jesus remained in Jerusalem; and his parents knew it not.
44 And thinking that he was in the company, they came a day's journey, and sought him among their kinfolks and acquaintance.
45 And not finding him, they returned into Jerusalem, seeking him.
46 And it came to pass, that, after three days, they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions.
47 And all that heard him were astonished at his wisdom and his answers.
48 And seeing him, they wondered. And his mother said to him: Son, why have you done this to us? behold your father and I have sought you sorrowing.
49 And he said to them: How is it that you sought me? did you not know, that I must be about my father's business?
50 And they understood not the word that he spoke to them.
51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them. And his mother kept all these words in her heart.
52 And Jesus advanced in wisdom, and age, and grace with God and men.

Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - From the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The Holy Family - Don’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house? My Mother Mary, and Joseph, my foster father, experienced my absence during three days, something symbolic about the three days that would happen after my death and also about the separation from God that every human being experiences.

Their joy was great when they found me in the Temple and I asked them why they were looking for me, didn’t they know that that I had to be in the House of my Father?

My coming into the world was to build the temple of God, I, in my physical presence as the Temple of His Holy Word and Divinity, the one that would be destroyed but also rebuilt in three days with my resurrection; and every human being who is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who was sent to the world after my death to be the counsellor, the guide, the paraclete, the consoler, the light of the conscience that calls every soul to know God.

Everyone who listens to my voice receives a call to holiness. I am the way to the perfection that God expects, that’s why I invite the soul to recollection, prayer, meditation and prayer, so that by these means he may enter in the interior temple where God listens and speaks, where a dialogue is established with the Creator who is always ready to welcome his children.

It is through these visitations to the altar of the interior temple, that the soul receives my blessings and my light; it is there that the Holy Spirit grants his gifts. It is there that I am always doing the work of my Father, who has sent me to raise this humanity from dust and darkness to light, from sin to grace, from the ailments and fragilities of human life to the glory and joy prepared for eternal life.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary


22 posted on 12/29/2012 10:53:31 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All
Archdiocese of Washington

Recovering God’s Plan for Marriage and Family: A Meditation on the Feast of the Holy Family

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

Here in the middle of the Christmas Octave, the Church bids us to celebrate the feast of the Holy Family. On the old calendar, the feast of the Holy Family falls on the Sunday after Epiphany, which makes some sense. For it is a bit odd to read a gospel portraying Jesus as 12 years of age, a mere 5 days after his birth. And then, next week, we revert back to a Gospel where he is an infant, on the Feast of Epiphany.

Nevertheless, here we are. Perhaps, it is a good time to reflect on family life. For, at Christmas time family, and extended family, often gather together. In terms of this feast of the Holy Family, let us make a consideration along three lines: Structure, Struggles, and Strategy.

I. Structure–All through the readings for today’s mass we are instructed on the basic form, the basic structure of the family. For example:

  1. God sets a father in honor over his children; a mother’s authority he confirms over her sons. (Sirach 3:2).
  2. May your wife be like a fruitful vine, in the recesses of your home; your children like olive plants, around your table (Psalm 128:3).
  3. Wives, be subordinate to your husbands, as is proper in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and avoid any bitterness toward them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, so that they may not become discouraged. (Colossians 3:20–21).
  4. Each year, Jesus parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover… Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety… (Luke 2:45, 51,).
  5. And he was obedient to them;… And Jesus advanced in age and wisdom and favor before God and man (Luke 2:51–52).

And thus we see the basic structure of family:

  1. A father in honor over his children
  2. A wife and mother, supportive of her husband and his authority.
  3. A mother, having authority over her children, supported loved and encouraged by her husband, and obeyed by her children.
  4. Children who both honor and obey their parents.
  5. Fathers, and by extension mothers, who instruct and admonish their children, but not in the way that badgers and discourages them, but in a way that encourages and builds them up.
  6. A family structure that helps children to advance in wisdom, and age, and favor before God and man.

Here then, is God’s basic teaching on family and marriage. Here is the basic structure for the family, as God sets it forth: a man who loves his wife, a woman, who loves her husband. And in this stable, lasting, and faithful union of mutual support and love, they conceive and raise their children in the holy fear of the Lord.

Add to this, the principal description of the book of Genesis, which describes how God says forth marriage: “A man shall leave his father and mother, cling to his wife, and the two of them shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24). And to this first couple, God gives the mandate, “Be fruitful and multiply.” (Genesis 1:22).

And thus we have set forth biblically  the basic structure for the family: a father, a mother, and children, all reverential, and supportive of one another, in their various roles and duties.

Note how the structure of the family, take its basic form in terms of its essential fruit: the procreation and rearing of children. Why should marriage be a stable and lasting union? Why is Adam told to cling to his wife, to form a stable and lasting union with her? Why?

Because, this is what is best for, and just for children! Children both need and deserve a stable and lasting union, of a father and a mother, of a complementary influence of the different sexes. Here is what is best for children to be raised and formed. Hence, the family structure of a father and a mother, a male and female parent, flows from what is best, and just for children. The structure of the family, as set forth by God, is rooted in what is best, and just for children. Here is what is sensible and best, sociologically, and psychologically, in terms of the proper development of Children.

Even before we open the Bible, it makes sense that a child should have a father and a mother, a male and female influence, and teaching. There are things that a male, and a father, can teach a child, that a mother, and a female, cannot best teach. Further, the mother, and a female, can teach, and model for children what only a mother, and a female best teaches.

This much is clear before we even open the Bible. Male and female influence are essential for the proper psychological and sociological development of the child. Clearly then, God’s biblical mandates that marriage should include a father and a mother, is not without basis in simple human reason, and common sense.

To intentionally deprive a child of this context is both unjust to the child, and unwise. Hence, we see that the basic structure for marriage takes its shape from what is best, and what is just for children. Both God, and nature, provide for a father and a mother, a male and a female, to conceive and raise a child.

It also makes sense based on simple human reasoning that that relationship should be stable, something the child can depend on from day-to-day, month-to-month, and year-to-year, through all the formative years.

Here then is the proper structure for marriage. It is set forth both by God, and by human reason.

II. Struggles–And yet, what should be obvious to us as a culture seems to be strangely absent in the minds of many. Let us be clear, sin clouds our judgment, and makes many think that what is sinful and improper is in fact okay and good. It is not. In our current modern culture we gravely sin against God and against our children by consistent misconduct, and by the refusal to accept what is obviously true. The words of St. Paul are fulfilled in our modern times: their senseless minds were darkened, and they became vain and foolish in their reasoning. (Rom 1:21).

It is clear today that the family is in grave crisis. And it is also clear, that it is the children who suffer the most. Our modern age, in the Western world shows forth the mentality that is both deeply flawed, and gravely harmful to children.

Marriage and family are in great crisis do the willful and sinful habits of the vast majority of adults in our culture regarding sexuality, marriage, and family life. The rebellion of adults against the plan and order of God have caused endless grief and hardship, and set forth a culture that is poisonous to the proper raising and blessing of children.

Last week, we commented on this on the blog. Without repeating that whole blog post that the following excerpt stands forth:

Children have much to suffer in this world of our collective making. And while not all of us are equally guilty of contributing to the suffering of children, none of us are wholly innocent either, if for no other reason than our silence.

Consider that most children born today are no longer born into the stable and lasting family units they justly deserve with a father and mother committed to one another till death do them part.

The problems begin with fornication, which is rampant in our culture. And while most do not think of this as a sin of injustice, it is. It is so because of what it does primarily to children.

The fact is many children are conceived of fornication. Tragically most of these children who are thus conceived are outright murdered by abortion. 85% of abortions are performed on unmarried women. And for all the vaunted declarations of how contraception makes every baby a wanted baby, nothing could be further from the truth. Abortion has skyrocketed with the availability of contraception. This is because the problem is not fertility, it is lust, promiscuity, fornication and adultery. And contraception fuels these problems by further enabling them. The promises associated with contraception are lies, it does the opposite of what it promises.

Thus fornication and the contraceptive mentality (founded on lies) cause grave harm to children, beginning with death, in huge numbers. And the children, conceived of fornication who do (thankfully) survive are, nevertheless subjected to the injustice of usually being born into irregular situations. There are single mothers, some single fathers, and many other irregularities.

Add to this picture the large number of divorced families. And make no mistake, these shredded families cause great hardships and pain for children that include: children be shuttled back and forth between different household each week, having to meet “daddy’s new girlfriend” or mommy’s new “live-in boy-friend” and all sorts of other family chaos. Blended families also dramatically increase the likelihood of sexual and emotional abuse, since legal relationships seldom have the built-in protections of natural relationships.

All of this misbehavior, individual and cultural, harms children. Not being raised in a traditional marriage dramatically increases a child’s likelihood of suffering many other social ills, starting with poverty.

The chief cause of poverty in this country, is the single motherhood, absent fatherhood.
71% of poor families are not married.
Children of single parent homes are 2 times more likely to be arrested for juvenile crime,
2 times more likely be treated for emotional and behavioral problems,
Twice as likely to be suspended or expelled from school,
33% more likely to drop out of school,
3 times more likely to end up in jail by age 30.
50% more likely to live in poverty as adults,
And twice as likely to have a child outside of marriage themselves
. [*]

Add to the burdens children must experience, the new trend of same sex adoption. Never mind that it is best for the psychological development of a child to have a father and mother, a male and female influence. No, what is best and just children must be sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. Same sex couples must now be given equal consideration under law (in many states) to heterosexual couples. It’s the adults and their rights that seem to matter most here, what is best for children is quite secondary.

Here then are our struggles. Our families are in grave crisis and MOST children in our culture are not raised in the stable and committed homes they deserve. And let us be even more clear, to intentionally deprive children of this sort of home by raising them outside of marriage, or in same sex unions etc., is sinful, wrong and an injustice.

Let us also be clear that it is not possible to personally judge every case of a broken family. The modern world has experienced as cultural tsunami and many have been influenced by lies and other false promises. It may be true that, if you are divorced you tried to save your marriage, but your spouse was unwilling. Perhaps in a moment of weakness, perhaps before your your conversion to Christ, you fell and bore children outside of marriage, but have done your best to raise them well.

But in the end we must say that children have had much to suffer on account of adult misbehavior in our culture. It is a true and sad fact, and we need to repent, and beg God’s grace and mercy to undue our grave sins of commission, omission and silence. We have set forth a bitter world for our children to inherit.

III. Strategy - What are we to do? In phrase, “Preach the Word.” What ever the sins of us, in this present generation (and there are many), we must be prepared to unambiguously re-propose the wisdom of God’s Word to our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  Even if many of us in the current generation have fallen short, we cannot hesitate to announce God’s plan for sexuality, marriage, and family.

Our strategic proclamation must include these key elements:

  1. No sex before marriage, ever, or under any circumstances. Sexual intercourse is rooted in the procreation of children and there no legitimate use of it outside of marriage, ever; no exceptions to this.
  2. Children deserve and have the right to expect two parents, a father and mother, committed to each other till death do them part. Anything short of this is a grave injustice to children and a mortal sin before God.
  3. Gay unions, or single mothers and fathers, are NOT an acceptable alternative to biblical marriage, and to intentionally subject children to this for the sake of “political correctness” is a grave injustice to them.
  4. Marriage is about what is best for children, not adults.
  5. Married couples must learn to work out their differences (as was done in the past) and not rush to divorce courts, which offends God (cf Malachi 2:16).
  6. The needs of children far outweigh the preferences and needs of adults.

Whatever the personal failings of any of us in this present evil age (cf Gal 1:4), our strategy must be to preach the undiluted plan of God for sexuality, marriage and family to our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

In a phrase or two: “Back to the Bible! Back to the plan of God! Away with modern experiments and unbiblical schemes.” God has given us a plan. And we, thinking we had better notions, have caused great sorrow and hardship for our descendants. We have acted unjustly, murdered or children through abortion, and, sowing in the wind, have caused those who have survived our misbehavior, to inherit the whirlwind. It is time to repent and help our heirs to rejoice in chastity, marriage and biblical family. Otherwise we are doomed to perish.

God has a plan and it must be our strategy out of our struggles and back to God’s structure for our families.

This song says, So, humbly I come to you and say As I sound aloud the warfare of today Hear me, I pray What about the children?


23 posted on 12/29/2012 10:55:45 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All
Sunday Gospel Reflections

Holy Family Sunday
Reading I:
Sir 3:3-7,14-17 II: Col 3:12-21
Gospel
Luke 2:41-52

41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover.
42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom;
43 and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it,
44 but supposing him to be in the company they went a day's journey, and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances;
45 and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him.
46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions;
47 and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
48 And when they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously."
49 And he said to them, "How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?"
50 And they did not understand the saying which he spoke to them.
51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.
52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man.


Interesting Details
  • Nazareth is about 85 miles from Jerusalem.
  • Only St. Luke reports this event. It is the fifth joyful mystery of the Rosary.
  • St. Luke reports only two journeys that Jesus made to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover. This event is the first, and the other immediately precedes his Passion. He was "lost" for three days in both events. The first marks the beginning of Jesus' adulthood as well as his mission. The last one marks the end of his mission as he rose victoriously after three days.
  • In Jewish society at the time of Jesus, boys and girls were at first primarily brought up by the women of the family. At the age of puberty, the boys made a transition and were reared primarily by their fathers or the men in the family.
  • When a boy reaches the age of twelve, the law of Moses requires that he journeys to Jerusalem for the Passover where, for the first time, he would be allowed to read the Words of God in the temple. This marks the beginning of his adulthood, and his care is transferred to the men in the family. It is a harsh transition for boys.
  • For such trips as the journey during the feast of Passover, the Jews traveled in large groups separate according to genders. Men and boys older than twelve travel together, while the women and smaller children travel in a separate group.
  • Mary must be joyful not finding the young Jesus with her thinking that he successfully made the transition to adulthood, electing to be with Joseph and all other boys. Joseph, on the other hand, felt disappointed to discover that Jesus was absent among the men. Joseph probably believed that the young Jesus still felt attached to his mother Mary. The young Jesus on the other hand made a spiritual transition into the care of God the Father.

One Main Point

One must, at some point in life, mature spiritually into the providence of God the Father and discover his own unique relation with God.


Reflections
  1. Mary and Joseph nurtured the young Jesus spiritually so that he could reach the conclusion: "Did you know that I have to be in my Father's house?" Reflect on your one journey of faith. Who has nurtured you spiritually, and how? How and when did you discover your unique place in God's heart?
  2. A family is the primary place to nurture spirituality. Read Luke (2:21-40) and contemplate the care that Mary and Joseph had for Jesus during his childhood. Contemplate your own spiritual responsibility in your family: the obstacles, the doubt, and the mission in bringing up your own children so that they will be able to grow into the wisdom and love of God.

24 posted on 12/29/2012 11:02:27 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All
Sunday, December 30, 2012
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

Because of our good Lord's tender love to all those who shall be saved, he quickly comforts them saying, "The cause of all this pain is sin. But all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well." These words were said so kindly and without a hint of blame.So how unjust it would be for me to blame God for allowing my sin when he does not blame me for falling into it.

-- Blessed Julian of Norwich


25 posted on 12/29/2012 11:06:34 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All
Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

26 posted on 12/29/2012 11:08:27 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. 


27 posted on 12/29/2012 11:16:15 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All
The Holy Family 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'

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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.

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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!

28 posted on 12/30/2012 6:42:50 AM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All
On Prayer in the Life of the Holy Family
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...

29 posted on 12/30/2012 6:43:58 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



30 posted on 12/30/2012 6:50:10 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 service. 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.

31 posted on 12/30/2012 6:54:55 AM 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
41 And his parents went every year to Jerusalem, at the solemn day of the pasch, Et ibant parentes ejus per omnes annos in Jerusalem, in die solemni Paschæ. και επορευοντο οι γονεις αυτου κατ ετος εις ιερουσαλημ τη εορτη του πασχα
42 And when he was twelve years old, they going up into Jerusalem, according to the custom of the feast, Et cum factus esset annorum duodecim, ascendentibus illis Jerosolymam secundum consuetudinem diei festi, και οτε εγενετο ετων δωδεκα αναβαντων αυτων εις ιεροσολυμα κατα το εθος της εορτης
43 And having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the child Jesus remained in Jerusalem; and his parents knew it not. consummatisque diebus, cum redirent, remansit puer Jesus in Jerusalem, et non cognoverunt parentes ejus. και τελειωσαντων τας ημερας εν τω υποστρεφειν αυτους υπεμεινεν ιησους ο παις εν ιερουσαλημ και ουκ εγνω ιωσηφ και η μητηρ αυτου
44 And thinking that he was in the company, they came a day's journey, and sought him among their kinsfolks and acquaintance. Existimantes autem illum esse in comitatu, venerunt iter diei, et requirebant eum inter cognatos et notos. νομισαντες δε αυτον εν τη συνοδια ειναι ηλθον ημερας οδον και ανεζητουν αυτον εν τοις συγγενεσιν και εν τοις γνωστοις
45 And not finding him, they returned into Jerusalem, seeking him. Et non invenientes, regressi sunt in Jerusalem, requirentes eum. και μη ευροντες αυτον υπεστρεψαν εις ιερουσαλημ ζητουντες αυτον
46 And it came to pass, that, after three days, they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions. Et factum est, post triduum invenerunt illum in templo sedentem in medio doctorum, audientem illos, et interrogantem eos. και εγενετο μεθ ημερας τρεις ευρον αυτον εν τω ιερω καθεζομενον εν μεσω των διδασκαλων και ακουοντα αυτων και επερωτωντα αυτους
47 And all that heard him were astonished at his wisdom and his answers. Stupebant autem omnes qui eum audiebant, super prudentia et responsis ejus. εξισταντο δε παντες οι ακουοντες αυτου επι τη συνεσει και ταις αποκρισεσιν αυτου
48 And seeing him, they wondered. And his mother said to him: Son, why hast thou done so to us? behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. Et videntes admirati sunt. Et dixit mater ejus ad illum : Fili, quid fecisti nobis sic ? ecce pater tuus et ego dolentes quærebamus te. και ιδοντες αυτον εξεπλαγησαν και προς αυτον η μητηρ αυτου ειπεν τεκνον τι εποιησας ημιν ουτως ιδου ο πατηρ σου καγω οδυνωμενοι εζητουμεν σε
49 And he said to them: How is it that you sought me? did you not know, that I must be about my father's business? Et ait ad illos : Quid est quod me quærebatis ? nesciebatis quia in his quæ Patris mei sunt, oportet me esse ? και ειπεν προς αυτους τι οτι εζητειτε με ουκ ηδειτε οτι εν τοις του πατρος μου δει ειναι με
50 And they understood not the word that he spoke unto them. Et ipsi non intellexerunt verbum quod locutus est ad eos. και αυτοι ου συνηκαν το ρημα ο ελαλησεν αυτοις
51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them. And his mother kept all these words in her heart. Et descendit cum eis, et venit Nazareth : et erat subditus illis. Et mater ejus conservabat omnia verba hæc in corde suo. και κατεβη μετ αυτων και ηλθεν εις ναζαρετ και ην υποτασσομενος αυτοις και η μητηρ αυτου διετηρει παντα τα ρηματα ταυτα εν τη καρδια αυτης
52 And Jesus advanced in wisdom, and age, and grace with God and men. Et Jesus proficiebat sapientia, et ætate, et gratia apud Deum et homines. και ιησους προεκοπτεν σοφια και ηλικια και χαριτι παρα θεω και ανθρωποις

32 posted on 12/30/2012 10:55:09 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
41. Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover.

CHRYS. At the feast of the Hebrews the law commanded men not, only to observe the time, but the place, and so the Lord's parents wished to celebrate the feast of the Passover only at Jerusalem.

AUG. But it may be asked, how did His parents go up all the years of Christ's childhood to Jerusalem, if they were prevented from going there by fear of Archelaus? This question might be easily answered, even had some one of the Evangelists mentioned how long Archelaus reigned. For it were possible that on the feast day amid so great a crowd they might secretly come, and soon return again, at the same time that they feared to remain there on other days, so as neither to be wanting in religious duties by neglecting the feast, nor leave themselves open to detection by a constant abode there. But now since all have been silent as to the length of Archelaus' reign, it is plain that when Luke says, They were accustomed to go up every year to Jerusalem, we are to understand that to have been when Archelaus was no longer feared.

42. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.
43. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.
44. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.
45. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.
46. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.
47. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
48. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said to him, Son, why have you thus dealt with us? behold, your father and I have sought your sorrowing.
49. And he said to them, How is it that you sought me? wish you not that I must be about my Father's business?
50. And they understood not the saying which he spoke to them.

CYRIL; The Evangelist having said before that the Child grew and waxed strong, verifies his own words when he relates, that Jesus with the holy Virgin went up to Jerusalem; as it is said, And when he was twelve years old, &c.

GREEK EX. His indication of wisdom did not exceed the measure of His age, but at the time that with us the powers of discernment are generally perfected, the wisdom of Christ shows itself.

AMBROSE; Or the twelfth year was the commencement of our Lord's disputation with the doctors, for this was the number of the Evangelists necessary to preach the faith.

THEOPHYL; We may also say, that as by the seventh number, so also by the twelfth, (which consists of the parts of seven multiplied alternately by one another,) the universality and perfection of either things or times is signified, and therefore rightly from the number twelve, the glory of Christ takes its beginning, being that by which all places and times are to be filled.

THEOPHYL; Now that the Lord came up every year to Jerusalem at the Passover, betokens His humility as a man, for it is, man's duty to meet together to offer sacrifices to God, and conciliate Him with prayers. Accordingly the Lord as man, did among men what God by angels commended c men to do. Hence it is said, According to the custom of the feast day. Let us follow then the journey of His mortal life, if we delight to behold the glory of His divine nature.

GREEK EX. The feast having been celebrated, while the rest returned, Jesus secretly tarried behind. As it follows, And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and his parents knew not of it. It is said, When the days were accomplished, because the feast lasted seven days. But the reason of His tarrying behind in secret was, that His parents might not be a hindrance to His carrying on the discussion with the lawyers; or perhaps to avoid appearing to despise his parents by not obeying their commands. He remains therefore secretly, that he might neither be kept away nor be disobedient.

ORIGEN; But we must not wonder that they are called His parents, seeing the one from her childbirth, the other from his knowledge of it, deserved the names of father and mother.

THEOPHYL; But some one will ask, how was it that the Son of God, brought up by His parents with such care, could be left behind from forgetfulness? To which it is answered, that the custom of the children of Israel while assembling at Jerusalem on the feast days, or returning to their homes, was for the women and men to go separately, and the infants or children to go with either parent indiscriminately. And so both Mary and Joseph each thought in turn that the Child Jesus, whom they saw not with them, was returning with the other parent. Hence it follows, But they, supposing him to have been in the company, &c.

ORIGEN; But as when the Jews plotted against Him He escaped from the midst of them, and was not seen; so now it seems that the Child Jesus remained, and His parents knew not where He was. As it follows, And not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem seeking for him.

GLOSS. They were on their way home, one day's journey from Jerusalem; on the second day they seek for Him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance, and when they found Him not, they returned on the third day to Jerusalem, and there they found Him. As it follows, And it came to pass, after three days they found him.

ORIGEN; He is not found as soon as sought for, for Jesus was not among His kinsfolk and relations, among those who are joined to Him in the flesh, nor in the company of the multitude can He be found. Learn where those who seek Him find Him, not every where, but in the temple. And do you then seek Jesus in the temple of God. Seek Him in the Church, and seek Him among the masters who are in the temple. For if you wilt so seek Him, you shall find Him. They found Him not among His kinsfolk, for human relations could not comprehend the Son of God; not among His acquaintance, for He passes far beyond all human knowledge and understanding. Where then do they find Him? In the temple! If at any time you seek the Son of God, seek Him first in the temple, thither go up, and verily shall you find Christ, the Word, and the Wisdom, (i.e. the Son of God.)

AMBROSE; After three days He is found in the temple, that it might be for a sign, that after three days of victorious suffering, He who was believed to be dead should rise again anti manifest Himself to our faith, seated in heaven with divine glory.

GLOSS. Or because the advent of Christ, which was looked for by the Patriarchs before the Law, was not found, nor again, that which was sought for by prophets and just men under the Law, but that alone is found which is sought for by Gentiles under grace.

ORIGEN; Because moreover He was the Son of God, He is found in the midst of the doctors, enlightening and instructing them. But because He was a little child, He is found among them not teaching but asking questions, as it is said, Sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions. And this He did as a duty of reverence, that He might set us an example of the proper behavior of children, though they be wise and learned, rather to hear their masters than teach them, and not to vaunt themselves with empty boasting. But He asked not that He might learn, but that asking He might instruct.

For from the same source of learning is derived both the power of asking and answering wisely, as it follows, All who heard him were astonished at his wisdom.

THEOPHYL; To show that He was a man, He humbly listened to the masters; but to prove that He was God, He divinely answered those who spoke.

GREEK EX. He asks questions with reason, He listens M with wisdom, and answers with more wisdom, so as to cause astonishment. As it follows, And they who saw it were astonished.

CHRYS. The Lord truly did no miracle in His childhood, yet this one fact St. Luke mentions, which made men look with wonder upon Him.

THEOPHYL; For from His tongue there went forth divine wisdom, while His age exhibited man's helplessness, and hence the Jews, amid the high things they hear and the lowly things they see, are perplexed with doubts and astonishment. But we can in no wise wonder, knowing the words of the Prophet, that thus unto us a Is Child is born, that He abides the mighty God.

GREEK EX. But the ever-wonderful mother of God, moved by a mother's feelings, as it w were with weeping makes her mournful inquiry, in every thing like a mother, with confidence, humility, and affection. As it follows, And his mother said to him, Son, what have you done?

ORIGEN; The holy Virgin knew that He was not the Son of Joseph, and yet calls her husband His father according to the belief of the Jews, who thought that He was conceived in the common way. Now to speak generally we may say, that the Holy Spirit honored Joseph by the name of father, because he brought up the Child Jesus; but more technically, that it might not seem superfluous in St. Luke, bringing down the genealogy from David to Joseph. But why sought they Him sorrowing? Was it that he might have perished or been lost? It could not be. For what should cause them to dread the loss of Him whom they knew to be the Lord? But as whenever you read the Scriptures you search out their meaning with pains, not that you suppose them to have erred or to contain any thing incorrect, but that the truth which they have inherent in them you are anxious to find out; so they sought Jesus, lest perchance leaving them he should have returned to heaven, thither to descend v hen He would. He then who seeks Jesus must go about it not carelessly and idly, as many seek Him who never find Him, but with labor and sorrow.

GLOSS. Or they feared lest Herod who sought Him in His infancy, now that He was advanced to boyhood might find an opportunity of putting Him to death.

GREEK EX. But the Lord Himself sets every thing at rest, and correcting as it were her saying concerning him who was His reputed father, manifests His true Father, teaching us not to walk on the ground, but to raise ourselves on high, as it follows, And he says to them, What is it that you ask of me?

THEOPHYL; He blames them not that they seek Him as their son, but compels them to raise the eyes of their mind to what was rather due to Him whose eternal Son He was. Hence it follows, Knew you not? &c.

AMBROSE; There are two generations in Christ, one from His Father, the other from His mother; the Father's more divine, the mother's that which has come down for our use and advantage.

CYRIL; He says this then by way of showing that He surpasses all human standards, and hinting that the Holy Virgin was made the handmaid of the work in bringing His flesh unto the world, but that He Himself was by nature and in truth God, and the Son of the Father most high Now from this let the followers of Valentinus, healing that the temple was of God, be ashamed to say that the Creator, and the God of the law and of the temple, is not also the Father of Christ.

EPIPH. Let Ebion know that at twelve years old, not thirty, Christ is found the astonishment of all men, wonderful and mighty in the words of grace. We can not here fore say, that after that the Spirit came to Him in Baptism He was made the Christ, that is, anointed with divinity, but from His very childhood He acknowledged both the temple and His Father.

GREEK EX. This is the first demonstration of the and power of the Child Jesus. For as to what are called you acts of His childhood, we can not but suppose them to be the work not only of a childish but even of a devilish mind and perverse will, attempting to revile those things which are contained in the Gospel and the sacred prophecies. But should one desire to receive only such things as are generally believed, and are not contrary to our other declarations, but accord also with the words of prophecy, let it suffice that Jesus was distinguished in form above the sons of men; obedient to His mother, gentle in disposition; in appearance full of grace and dignity; eloquent in words, kind and thoughtful of the wants of others, known among all for a power and energy, as of one who was filled with all wisdom; and as in other things, so also in all human conversation, though above man, Himself the rule and measure. But that which most distinguished Him was His meekness, and that a razor had never come upon His head, nor any human hand except His mother's. But from these words we may derive a lesson; for when the Lord reproves Mary seeking Him among His relations, He most aptly points to the giving up of all fleshly ties, showing that it is not for him to attain the goal of perfection who is still encompassed by and walks among the things of the body, and that men fall from perfection through love of their relations.

THEOPHYL; It follows, And they understood him not, that is, the word which He spoke to them of His divinity.

ORIG. Or they knew not whether when He said about my Father's business, He referred to the temple, or something higher and more edifying; for every one of us who does good, is the seat of God the Father; but whoever is the seat of God the Father, has Christ in the midst of him.

51. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
52. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

GREEK EX. All that time of the life of Christ which He passed between His manifestation in the temple and His baptism being devoid of any great public miracles or teaching, the Evangelist sums up in one word saying, And he went down with them.

ORIGEN; Jesus frequently went down with His disciples, for He is not always dwelling on the mount, for they who were troubled with various diseases were not able to ascend the mount. For this reason now also He went down to them who were below. It follows: And he was subject to them,.

GREEK EX. Sometimes by His word He first institutes laws, and He afterwards confirms them, by His work, as when He says, The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. For shortly after seeking our salvation He poured out His own life. But sometimes He first sets forth in Himself an example, and afterwards, as far as words can go, draws therefrom rules of life, as He does here, showing forth by His work these three things above the rest, the love of God, honor to parents, but the preferring God also to our parents. For when He was blamed by His parents, He counts all other things of less moment than those which belong to God; again, He gives His obedience also to His parents.

THEOPHYL; For what is the teacher of virtue, unless he fulfill his duty to his parents? What else did He do among us, than what He wished should be done by us?

ORIGEN; Let us then also ourselves be subject to our parents. But if our fathers are not let us be subject to those who are our fathers. Jesus the Son of God is subject to Joseph and Mary. But I must be subject to the Bishop who has been constituted my father. It seems that Joseph knew that Jesus was greater than he, and there fore in awe moderated his authority. But let every one see, that oftentimes he who is subject is the greater. Which if they who are higher in dignity understand they will not be elated with pride, knowing that their superior is subject to them.

GREG. NYSS. Further, since the young have not yet perfect understanding, and have need to be led forward by those who have advanced to a more perfect state; therefore when He arrived at twelve years, He is obedient to His parents, to show that whatever is made perfect by moving forward, before that it arrives at the end profitably embraces obedience, (as leading to good.)

BASIL; But from His very first years being obedient to His parents, He endured all bodily labors, humbly and reverently. For since His parents were honest and just, yet at the same time poor, and ill supplied with the necessaries of life, (as the stable which administered to the holy birth bears witness,) it is plain that they continually underwent bodily fatigue in providing for their daily wants. But Jesus being obedient to them, as the Scriptures testify, even in sustaining labors, submitted Himself to a complete subjection.

AMBROSE; And can you wonder if He who is subject to His mother, also submits to His Father? Surely that subjection is a mark not of weakness but of filial duty. Let then the heretic so raise his head as to assert that He who is sent has need of other help; yet why should He need human help, in obeying His mother's authority? He was obedient to a handmaid, He was obedient to His pretended father, and do you wonder whether He obeyed God; Or is it a mark of duty to obey man, of weakness to obey God.

THEOPHYL; The Virgin, whether she understood or whether she could not yet understand, equally laid up all things in her heart for reflection and diligent examination. Hence it follows, And, his mother laid up all these things, etc. Mark the wisest of mothers, Mary the mother of true wisdom, becomes the scholar or disciple of the Child. For she yielded to Him not as to a boy, nor as to a man, but as unto God. Further, she pondered upon both His divine words and works, so that nothing that was said or done by Him was lost upon her, but as the Word itself was before in her womb, so now she conceived the ways and words of the same, and in a manner nursed them in her heart. And while indeed she thought upon one thing at the time, another she wanted to be more clearly revealed to her; and this was her constant rule and law through her whole life.

It follows, And Jesus increased in wisdom.

THEOPHYL. Not that He became wise by making progress, but that by degrees He revealed His wisdom. As it was when He disputed with the Scribes, asking them questions of their law to the astonishment of all who heard Him. You see then how He increased in wisdom, in that He became known to many, and caused them to wonder, for the showing forth of His wisdom is His increase. But mark how the Evangelist, having interpreted what it is to increase in wisdom, adds, and in stature, declaring thereby that an increase or growth in age is an increase in wisdom.

CYRIL; But the Eunomian Heretics say, "How can He be equal to the Father in substance, who is said to increase, as if before imperfect." But not because He is the Word, but because He is made man, He is said to receive increase. For if He really increased after that He was made flesh, as having before existed imperfect, why then do we give Him thanks as having thence become incarnate for us? But how if He is the true wisdom can He be increased, or how can He who gives grace to others be Himself advanced in grace. Again, if bearing that the Word humbled Himself, no one is offended (thinking slightingly of the true God,) but rather marvels at His compassion, how is it not absurd to be offended at hearing that He increases? For as He was humbled for us, so for us He increased, that we who have fallen through sin might increase in Him. For whatever concerns us, Christ Himself has truly undertaken for us, that He might restore us to a better state. And mark what He says, not that the Word, but Jesus, increases, that you should not suppose that the pure Word increases, but the Word made flesh; and as we confess that the Word suffered in the flesh, although the flesh only suffered, because of the Word the flesh was which suffered, so He is said to increase, because the human nature of the Word increased in Him. But He is said to increase in His human nature, not as if that nature which was perfect from the beginning received increase, but that by degrees it was manifested. For the law of nature brooks not that man should have higher faculties than the age of his body permits. The Word then (made man) was perfect, as being the power and wisdom of the Father, but because something was to be yielded to the habits of our nature, lest He should be counted strange by those who saw Him, He manifested Himself as man with a body, gradually advancing in growth, and was daily thought wiser by those who saw and heard Him.

GREEK EX. He increased then in age, His body growing to the stature of man; but in wisdom through those who were taught divine truths by Him; in grace, that is, whereby we are advanced with joy, trusting at last to obtain the promises; and this indeed before God, because having put on the flesh, He performed His Father's work, but before men by their conversion from the worship of idols to the knowledge of the Most High Trinity.

THEOPHYL. He says before God and men, because we must first please God, then man.

GREG. NYSS. The word also increases in different degrees in those who receive it; and according to the measure of its increase a man appears either an infant, grown up, or a perfect man.

Catena Aurea Luke 2
33 posted on 12/30/2012 10:55:54 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Christ Among the Doctors

Albrecht Dürer

1506
Oil on panel, 65 x 80 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

34 posted on 12/30/2012 10:56:29 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: Salvation

Thank you. A Happy and Blessed New Year to you.


35 posted on 12/30/2012 1:15:08 PM PST by jmacusa (Political correctness is cultural Marxism. I'm not a Marxist.)
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To: jmacusa

And a Merry Christmas to you — since it is still Christmas in the Catholic Church! LOL!


36 posted on 12/30/2012 4:52:00 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All
 
Catholic
Almanac:
Sunday, 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.

37 posted on 12/30/2012 5:05:46 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All
Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: December 30, 2012
(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

Feast of the Holy Family

Old Calendar: Sunday in Octave of the Nativity

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.

Click here for commentary on the readings in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

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.



38 posted on 12/30/2012 5:27:30 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.)


39 posted on 12/30/2012 5:30:35 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Luke 2:41-52

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

“Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” (Luke 2:48)

Great anxiety indeed! Jesus had been missing for three whole days. Jerusalem was a big city, teeming with people of all kinds. Anything could have happened.

How did Jesus respond to Mary and Joseph’s words of concern and worry? As casually as any other ado­lescent: “What’s the big deal? Didn’t you think to look in my Father’s house?” You can imagine Joseph wanting to shoot back: “Sorry, son, but my house is in Nazareth. You’re grounded for a month!”

But this was the Holy Family, and Jesus was already twelve years old. Surely this wasn’t the first time that he took them by surprise. They were probably in the habit of keep­ing things in their hearts (Luke 2:51) for further prayer, discussion, and pondering!

We may not be as well mannered as the Holy Family. Our parenting skills may be a little rough around the edges, too—especially if we com­pare ourselves to Mary and Joseph. Who among us hasn’t lost their cool over a child’s unpredictable actions or unexpected remarks? We’re all familiar with the vortex of worry and anxiety that our children can throw us into at times.

No matter how far short we fall from the ideal, we can still learn to weather the storms of parenting by working together as a couple, by let­ting love overcome guilt or anger, and placing our questions and needs before our heavenly Father.

Jesus seemed very far away during Mary and Joseph’s three-day ordeal. But all the time, he was waiting for them in his Father’s house. There will be times when our own children seem far from us, too. But as mem­bers of God’s family, sooner or later we can expect to find each other in our Father’s house. In the meantime, let’s consecrate our families to Jesus and ask him to teach us to how to live in the same faith and trust that Mary and Joseph knew.

“Father, you blessed Mary and Joseph for their unity and love. Let your Holy Spirit unite our family as well.”

Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14; Psalm 128:1-5; Colossians 3:12-21

 

Luke 2:41-52

Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

1. The first reading addresses the “honor” and “respect” due our parents. If your parents are still alive, what practical steps can you take to demonstrate more honor and respect for them? Consider also asking them to forgive you for any times that you fell short of giving them honor and respect. If your parents are not alive, you may still want to repent to God for those times. And, of course, to pray for them.

2. In the Responsorial Psalm, we are told to “fear the Lord and walk in his ways.” What do the words, “fear the Lord” mean to you? What are the blessings of fearing the Lord?

3. St. Paul, in the second reading, tells us that the authentic atmosphere of a profoundly Christian life is made up of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, thanksgiving, and above all, love. How can you foster these characteristics in a greater way in your family life? In your relationships with other family members?

4. In the Gospel, we see the Holy Family as a model of unity and love in spite of their anxious response to their difficult three-day separation from Jesus. We also see Jesus, in spite of being filled with the urgency to be in his Father’s House, nevertheless, living in whole-hearted obedience to Mary and Joseph. How easy it is for the “urgencies” of our lives to keep us from being more obedient to God’s plan. What are some steps you can take during your busy days to be more in tune with the Lord’s will and to allow the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you?

5. The meditation ends with these words: “let’s consecrate our families to Jesus and ask him to teach us to how to live in the same faith and trust that Mary and Joseph knew.” How important is it to you to consecrate your families to the Lord? Why?

6. Take some time now to consecrate your families to the Lord, asking that they live in unity and love and in faith and trust—as Mary and Joseph were able to do. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.


40 posted on 12/30/2012 5:45:16 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

THE HOLY FAMILY: THE SHINING EXAMPLE OF HOW WE ARE CALLED TO LIVE

(A biblical reflection on THE FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY – Sunday, 30 December 2012) 

Gospel Reading: Luke 2:41-52 

First Reading: 1Sam 1:20-22,24-28; Psalms: Ps 84:2-3,5-5,9-10; Second Reading: 1Jn 3:1-2,21-24 

THE HOLY FAMILY - 2

The Scripture Text 

Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up according to custom; and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing Him to be in the company they went a day’s journey, and they sought Him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances; and when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. After three days they found Him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; and all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers. And when they saw Him they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us so? Behold, Your father and I have been looking for You anxiously.” And He said to them, “How is it that you sought Me? Did you know that I must be in My Father’s house?” And they did not understand the saying which He spoke them. And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and His mother kept all these things in her heart. 

And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favour with God and man. (Lk 2:41-52 RSV) 

What a strange incident the Church asks us to reflect on for the Feast of the Holy Family! In Luke’s account of the finding of Jesus in the Temple, we see the Holy Family – the model for all human families – dealing with confusion and miscommunication – to the point that couple’s only child is lost for three whole days! So what makes Jesus, Mary, and Joseph such shining examples of how we are called to live? The answer lies in the way they responded to the crisis they faced.

When Mary and Joseph discovered that Jesus was missing, they did not waste any time arguing about which of them was to blame for losing Him. Rather, they united in a prolonged and painstaking search for their lost son. And even when they found their adolescent boy safe but unapologetic, they did not erupt in anger or try to heap accusations and guilt upon Him just to make Him feel bad for putting them through such an ordeal. Surely they were anguished, but they did not focus all their upset feelings on Him. Evidently, a dozen years sharing the same roof with Jesus had taught them to trust, even when they did not fully understand.

Even well-intentioned and loving families face misunderstandings, hardships, and tragedies at times. It is at times like these that we can especially remember the Holy Family and draw from their example. No matter how “holy” we feel, every family can learn to weather the storms of life by placing their needs before their heavenly Father and believing that He will never let them out of His hands.

Jesus seemed very far away during Mary and Joseph’s three-day ordeal. But all the time, He was waiting for them in His Father’s house. There will be times when our own children, spouses, or parents may seem far from us, too. But as members of God’s family, sooner or later we can expect to find each other in our Father’s house. In the meantime, let us consecrate our families to Jesus and ask Him to teach us how to live in the same faith and trust that Mary and Joseph knew.

Short Prayer:  Heavenly Father, throughout their lives together, You blessed Mary and Joseph for their love and compassion. Let Your Holy Spirit unite the members of our families as well. Thank You, Father. Amen.


41 posted on 12/30/2012 5:50:00 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

HIDDEN IN THE FAMILY

(A biblical reflection on THE FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY – Sunday, 30 December 2012) 

First Reading: 1Sam 1:20-22,24-28; Psalms: Ps 84:2-3,5-5,9-10; Second Reading: 1Jn 3:1-2,21-24; Gospel Reading: Lk 2:41-52

JESUS FOUND IN THE TEMPLE

JESUS lived the hidden life at Nazareth for thirty years before He taught and worked in the public eye for three years. For every year in public life He spent ten years in homely life. Surely in that silence there is great message from God about the importance of family relationships and everyday work.

The hands that would minister healing and comfort were not too proud to be soiled in weeding the garden or notched by chisel and splinter. The Son of the Eternal Father was happy to be known as the son of Joseph and Mary. The Word who is the perfect image and expression of the Father had to mature in human relationships as son, as brother-cousin, as neighbour and as the lad down the road. We are left to speculate on whether He was good at the games the local children played, did He have favourite hobbies, how did His teachers find Him or did ever a girl cast a hopeful eye in His direction. Jesus advanced in wisdom, He grew in physical stature and matured in favourable relationships with God and people.

The family was the greatest school of His life. In the family school the principal subject is People. One learns to live off people, for people and with people. Living off people means learning to depend on others. Trust in others is the first great lesson in the family school and the pupil who fares badly at this subject will have serious emotional problems all through life. In learning to trust people we learn something of our relationship with the Father on whose continuing act of creation we totally depend. It is noteworthy that in the prayer of Jesus His favourite word for God is Abba, the family name for father. His prayer language must have developed from His experience of dependence and trust in the family home at Nazareth.

Living for people is our way of returning the contribution. The person who in childhood received, now in growing learns to share and give. Jesus developed into a man whose ideal was to serve rather than to be served and to give His very life for others. He became the man for others.

Living with people demands the harmony of being able to receive and to give, each at the proper time. This double movement, to and fro, is an expression of the Holy Spirit who is the unifying love between the giving of the Father and the returning of the Son.

The dynamics of family life prepare us for entering into the eternal movements of the inner life of God. Just as the submission of Jesus to the human authority of Joseph and Mary prepared Him for submission to the final demands of the Father.

Short Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to live as the Holy Family of Nazareth, united in respect and love. Bring us to the joy and peace of Your eternal home. Amen.

Note: Taken from Fr. Sylvester O’Flynn OFMCap., THE GOOD NEWS OF LUKE’S YEAR, Dublin, Ireland: CATHEDRAL BOOKS, 1994, pages 29-30. 


42 posted on 12/30/2012 5:52:42 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, 2012:

As the close of the year draws nigh, is there anything you need to ask your family, especially your spouse, to forgive you for? Are there any relatives you need to forgive? It doesn’t matter if you were right. Forgive anyway.


43 posted on 12/30/2012 5:55:41 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All
Sunday Scripture Study

Feast of the Holy Family - Cycle C

December 30, 2012

Click here for USCCB readings

Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Sirach 3:2-7,12-14

Psalm: 128:1-5

Second Reading: Colossians 3:12-21

Gospel Reading: Luke 2:41-52

  • The Feast of the Holy Family, which developed in the 17th century, honors the family group of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Built on the Gospel accounts, this family is looked upon as a model of ideal family life. To promote family life and build up devotion to the Holy Family, Pope Benedict XV established this feast for the Universal Church in 1921.
  • This story, which we know as the Fifth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary (like many other stories found in the “infancy narratives”) appears only in Luke’s Gospel. The infancy narratives end in the same location as they began, in the Jerusalem Temple (Luke 1:8).
  • All male Jews ages twelve and older were required to make three pilgrimages to Jerusalem every year—at the feasts of Passover, Weeks (Pentecost), and Booths (Tabernacles). Custom excused those who lived far away from the feasts of Weeks and Booths, but not Passover. Even though only older males were under obligation, often the entire family would go, traveling in large parties or caravans (males and females with small children traveling separately until making camp at evening) for convenience, fellowship, and safety.
  • This is the first time we hear about Jesus since the return of the Holy Family to Nazareth from Egypt, where they fled to escape the wrath of King Herod (Matthew 2:16-23). It is the last time we hear about him until his appearance at the Jordan to be baptized by John (Luke 3:1ff). This undocumented period of time is often called “the hidden years” of Jesus’ life.

 

QUESTIONS:

  • What was the significance of this Feast, for which Joseph and Mary made a pilgrimage from Nazareth to Jerusalem every year (see Exodus 12; Deuteronomy 16:1-8)?
  • How much does Jesus seem to know about his mission? How much do his parents know (Luke 1:26-56; Matthew 1:18—2:23)? If Jesus is God, how could he “advance in wisdom and age and in favor before God and man” (verse 52)? See CCC 472.
  • Why do you think Luke included this episode in his Gospel? How did Luke know about this, and other details surrounding Jesus’ birth and childhood (see verse 51)? In this same verse, what is Jesus attitude to Mary and Joseph? How is this a reflection of the First Reading?
  • What three qualities did Jesus display before the teachers in verses 46-47? What two reactions did he provoke by his actions in these two verses?
  • Why do you think Jesus was “surprised” that his parents were looking for him? Where should they have looked? How have you looked for Jesus in all the wrong places?
  • Has your hunger for God ever been misunderstood by your family? How? How do you maintain a healthy balance between daily responsibilities and serving God?

Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 531-534, 583, 503, 2599, 517, 472

 

I turn to you, dear parents, and implore you to imitate the Holy Family of Nazareth.  -St. John Vianney


44 posted on 12/30/2012 6:00:42 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: Salvation
When We Lose Jesus
Pastor’s Column
Solemnity of the Holy Family
December 30, 2012
 
“My child, why have you done this to us? 
See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you!”
                                                                             (from Luke 2:41-52)
 
          The story of the finding of the child Jesus in the temple resonates with us on many levels, not only because it gives us a brief window on the very human lives of the Holy Family when Jesus was twelve years of age, but also because it helps explain how Jesus acts in our lives as well! The gospel stories are the stories of our lives.
 
          We are all in the family caravan with Jesus, Mary, Joseph and their many relatives and friends as they return from Jerusalem to Nazareth after their Passover pilgrimage.   We too are journeying through life, going on our way in this world and suddenly, Jesus seems to have gone! He is nowhere to be found! Do you panic? Will you miss him? The Holy Family searches for Jesus with great anxiety.
 
          Was it my fault that Jesus has gone missing? We cannot help but wonder if we are to blame for this. Certainly the Holy Family must have had similar thoughts as they frantically searched for their lost son. But in fact, this is the normative way God acts in our lives: Jesus is both fully God and fully human, and in his divinity, he will sometimes seem to “disappear” from our feelings, or will appear to be absent to our calls, precisely so that we will search for him. Even his parents had to learn this lesson, and so do we!
 
          The Holy Family did not know where to look at first. From this we realize that Mary and Joseph were not in constant communication with angels or other mystical experiences, even though they were raising God’s son! We too, do not always find our prayers answered the first time we ask! God makes us wait and search and persevere in our desire to find the Lord and his will for us. We may at times not even know which way to turn, which path or decision Jesus wishes for us, but we know that, in the end, Christ will be there to guide us, as he was for his parents. 
 
          Jesus’ actions were not immediately comprehensible to Mary and Joseph. First they were “amazed” to find that Jesus could hold his own with the best minds in Judaism, which indicates that he didn’t exhibit much of this prior to this incident. Then, it took them a while to grasp Jesus’ point that while Joseph was a foster-father, Jesus’ REAL Father was in heaven. Remember, the angels and shepherds were a 12 year old memory by this time! In the same way, God’s actions on our behalf and in our world may not always make sense to us right away. Sometimes the Lord asks us to trust him before he explains everything!
                                                                                                Father Gary

45 posted on 12/30/2012 6:06:29 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All
St. Paul Center Blog

Our True Home: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Feast of the Holy Family

Posted by Dr. Scott Hahn on 12.28.12 |


Holy Family

Sirach 3:2-6,12-14
Psalm 128:1-5
Colossians 3:12-21
Luke 2:41-52

Why did Jesus choose to become a baby born of a mother and father and to spend all but His last years living in an ordinary human family? In part, to reveal God’s plan to make all people live as one “holy family” in His Church (see 2 Corinthians 6:16-18).
In the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, God reveals our true home. We’re to live as His children, “chosen ones, holy and beloved,” as the First Reading puts it.
The family advice we hear in today’s readings - for mothers, fathers and children - is all solid and practical. Happy homes are the fruit of our faithfulness to the Lord, we sing in today’s Psalm. But the Liturgy is inviting us to see more, to see how, through our family obligations and relationships, our families become heralds of the family of God that He wants to create on earth.
Jesus shows us this in today’s Gospel. His obedience to His earthly parents flows directly from His obedience to the will of His heavenly Father. Joseph and Mary aren’t identified by name, but three times are called “his parents” and are referred to separately as his “mother” and “father.” The emphasis is all on their “familial” ties to Jesus. But these ties are emphasized only so that Jesus, in the first words He speaks in Luke’s Gospel, can point us beyond that earthly relationship to the Fatherhood of God.
In what Jesus calls “My Father’s house,” every family finds its true meaning and purpose (see Ephesians 3:15). The Temple we read about in the Gospel today is God’s house, His dwelling (see Luke 19:46). But it’s also an image of the family of God, the Church (see Ephesians 2:19-22; Hebrews 3:3-6; 10:21).
In our families we’re to build up this household, this family, this living temple of God. Until He reveals His new dwelling among us, and says of every person: “I shall be his God and he will be My son” (see Revelation 21:3,7).


46 posted on 12/30/2012 6:16:26 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All
The Holy Family and holy obedience

 
 
The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

 
1 Sam 1: 20-22, 24-28
1 Jn 3: 1-2, 21-24
Lk 2: 41-52

Since Thanksgiving countless people have gone “over the river and through the woods,” not to mention airports of course, and covered thousands of miles to visit family and friends during this holiday season, including myself.  For most it has been likely a wonderful time to reconnect but for some there was surely tension and perhaps even those who may have said: “A little bit of family goes a long way.”

The sharing of gifts and memories, gorging out on food, drink, and laughter, family activities both indoors and outdoors are an essential way to bond and to form lasting ties through the human community.  Hopefully, at some point in all the frantic movement, Church attendance and worship as a shared family experience was more than just a rare visit.   

This Sunday after Christmas is the Feast of the Holy Family and it too reminds us about the fundamental bond that existed between Jesus, Mary and Joseph.  For all time we know this “holy” family was unique among all human families. Yet, I sometimes wonder what this family, with such an extraordinary child by mysterious angelic intervention, might have to say to families who find themselves faced with more mundane earthly problems. Jesus, Mary and Joseph may appear more as plaster statues or icons or invoked in the “good old days” of Catholic School when we wrote: “J – M – J” at the top of each paper we turned in to Sister. But the truth is that the Holy Family may have much to say.

Our first reading on this beautiful feast in the Christmas season speaks about a child dedicated to God (1 Sam 1). As Hannah brings her son Samuel to the Temple with an offering that may seem to us a bit primitive: “. . . a three year old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine . . .” as parents of today don’t bring bulls, bread, and wine at the moment of their child’s baptism, that sacrament of new life is the moment in which the parents, like Hannah, offer their child to God.  As Hannah states, “As long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the Lord . . .” So too in Baptism, we are signed, sealed, and washed clean – for God.  Thus, every child given to a couple is seen as gift from God to be dedicated back to him. While most children are not the great Samuel and certainly not Jesus, the example of Hannah, Mary and Joseph is one for every faithful Christian couple.  

Likewise, in the Gospel from Luke we see a moment in which, according to Jewish custom, Mary and Joseph as faithful Jews, fulfill their yearly celebration of the Passover.  Jesus in transition to Jewish adulthood for young males, accompanies them.  It was twelve years previous that Mary and Joseph brought the infant Jesus to the same Temple to be dedicated to God. The Temple was not a strange place for them but a familiar location of sacred worship and a living out of their dedication to God. Such regular habit of worship is an example for family life. It does make a difference.

Considering all this, we may see here for all families the characteristic of a virtue not particularly popular these days: Obedience.  Our own modern spirit of independence might push aside a rich opportunity for growth in learning a faith-centered obedience.

Mary was obedient to the angel who brought her the good news of God’s choice to be the human mother of his Son.  Joseph was obedient to that same Angel Gabriel who assured him that it was right to take Mary as his wife for the child she bore was by God’s mysterious intervention. 

While the temptation to focus on Mary’s fearful reprimand in our familiar Gospel story, “Son, why have you done this to us? . . .” may be strong, in the end we see here a family who’s dedication to their faith is inspiring.  Yes, Jesus may have been a bit precocious to say the least when he appears like teenagers who seek a somewhat rebellious freedom, Luke implies more that Jesus was fulfilling his future mission with exceptional wisdom. Still, Jesus was obedient to his own parents who searched frantically with great concern: “He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them . . .”

Thus, Mary and Joseph are presented as good and righteous Jews who continued to obey the dictates of their faith but yet felt a distinctive responsibility for their even more exceptional child and his future destiny. 

Perhaps, then, at the foundation of healthy family life is an underlying responsibility to obey.  Not out of any slavish sense of submission to control another’s life but rather out of a higher obedience to God’s will.  For Mary and Joseph their lives must have been ones of daily discernment.  What is our place and responsibility with this child entrusted to us? Where must his loyalty lie since he has come to us through such unforeseen divine intervention?  What is God asking of us?

Further, “what is God asking of us” is a question to be sought by every parent who has been gifted with children. The future of each child is hidden to every parent but in that family – in that house – Jesus himself wants to abide. 

In the family unit, which is so threatened these days, a place for healthy discernment should be created.  The family life of Mary, Joseph and Jesus is hidden from us but we could safely assume that Jesus was allowed to explore that same question, “What is God, my Father, asking of me?” So too parents could encourage their children to explore that fundamental question:  “What is God asking of me?”

Here are some questions that I wonder how many well- meaning parents invite their children to consider: Is this the man or woman God is asking me to marry? Am I called to married life or is there another way that I could serve as “parent” – perhaps to priestly service or religious life in the Church? How could I use my talents and gifts as talents and gifts from God and not just opportunities to be famous or wealthy? Such questions offer the opportunity for parents not only to interact with their children but also, like the Holy Family, be open to a greater will than their own; in short, to obey and then find a beautiful peace and freedom.

May this Holy Family challenge us all to become holy ourselves and watch over both marriage and family life in this age with all its wonders also poses a great challenge to some fundamental core values centered around faith and family.

Almighty God,
Bless our families, our parents and marriages.
Help us to discern what is your will for us
as mothers, fathers, and children
and to create a place in the home for you.  
Heal those who are hurting or broken
and help them to find joy and peace.
 
Fr. Tim

47 posted on 12/30/2012 6:25:40 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All
Insight Scoop

“Why were you looking for me?" (On the Feast of The Holy Family)

A Scriptural Reflection on the Readings for Sunday, December 30, 2012, the Feast of The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph | Carl E. Olson

Readings:
• Sir 3:2-6, 12-14 or 1 Sm 1:20-22, 24-28
• Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5 or Ps 84:2-3, 5-6, 9-10
• Col 3:12-21 or 1 Jn 3:1-2, 21-24
• Lk 2:41-52

Being lost isn’t always what it seems. People usually end up lost when they take a wrong turn or misread directions. And then we sometimes speak of “losing ourselves,” usually in some sort of pleasant diversion: reading a book, watching a movie, or taking a walk in a familiar park or garden.

Yet it takes a unique person and perspective to be lost without actually being lost in order that those who seek you will not only find you, but will find you more deeply and more truly.  It takes the twelve-year-old Incarnate Word to be lost in such a way. It is rather humorous, in fact, to think that today’s Gospel reading, which is the only story about the youthful Jesus between his first weeks of life and his adulthood, is sometimes said to be about Mary and Joseph seeking the “lost” Jesus. Is he lost?

To them, yes, he is lost; they are as anxious as any parent (even a sinless mother!) would be. But the young Jesus was not lost. He purposefully, St. Luke writes, “remained behind in Jerusalem.” He had spent time in Jerusalem every year; undoubtedly he had explored parts of the city and knew some it quite well, especially around the Temple. And when he was found after three days of frantic searching by Mary and Joseph, he did not express the relief of a frightened child huddled in the woods. Rather, he matter-of-factly asked two questions: “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”

As Monsignor Ronald Knox observed in his Lightning Meditations (Sheed and Ward, 1959), these responses leave us “puzzled, perhaps faintly disconcerted…” Surely the young man spoke with a smile, Knox suggested, “otherwise the remark would be intolerably priggish.”

What is clear is how difficult is the translating of Jesus’ words; they do not directly refer to a “house,” but more obscurely to “the things of the Father.” Knox muses that “the sight of Joseph hard at work makes him want to be a carpenter already, at twelve; but then, the thought of his Heavenly Father, tirelessly at work all the time, makes him impatient to begin his real ministry…” After all, his words—“I must”—are as urgent as they are puzzling.

What was the work, the ministry, the things of the Father? A central part of it was teaching, especially to teach “the teachers.” The Son of God, the author of the Law, would both explain and fulfill the Law to the teachers of the Law. This focus on teaching is especially emphasized as the Passion approaches: “And he was teaching daily in the temple” (Lk 19:47; see 20:1; 21:37). After being arrested, facing the chief priests and elders, Jesus stated, “When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me” (Lk. 22:53).

Sitting in the midst of the teachers, Jesus taught by asking questions. This was, Origen observed in a homily, befitting his youth. Jesus “interrogated the teachers not to learn anything but to teach them by his questions,” he wrote, “It is part of the same wisdom to know what you should ask and what you should answer.” But Jesus also astounded the teachers, St. Luke writes, with “his understanding and his answers.” Having come to seek and save the lost, he revealed man’s need for the Messiah by both asking and proclaiming, prodding and eliciting. “For the Son of man came,” he told Zacchae'us, “to seek and to save the lost” (Lk 19:10).

When Joseph and Mary spent three days seeking Jesus, they were being drawn deeper into the mystery of salvation. They knew Jesus was the Messiah, but how could they not be astonished that he was teaching the teachers? This required further pondering, thought, contemplation. And so, also, for us. In seeking him, we will not only find him, but will find that we are the ones who have been found.  

(This "Opening the Word" column originally appeared in the December 27, 2009, edition of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.)


48 posted on 12/30/2012 6:38:20 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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To: All

Where God Lives

 

by Food For Thought on December 30, 2012 · 

The family, no matter what its shortcomings and flaws are, remains to be the fundamental human connection. None of our families is holy and perfect; each is a combination of all sorts of conflicts, compulsions, and craziness that put to test our love and forgiveness. But in the midst of all that, God remains present. There is no other place to find Him. It is the place where He found us.

Yet the understanding of family has to be expanded. At the center of Jesus’ family life and at the center of his ministry is his Father. That relationship is for Jesus the most important in his life because that gives him direction and support that will sustain him in his suffering and death. When Jesus describes his family in Scriptures, he says that it is not a relationship of blood but rather a relationship of fidelity to the Word of God. That is why he said: “My mother and brothers are those who hear the Word of God and hear it.”

Like Jesus, we are thus tasked to focus our lives on the Word of God. Whether we live alone or in a family, whether we have many relatives or none, we can be all part of Jesus’ new and expanded family. The only requirement is to hear the Word of God and fulfill it. Since Jesus extended his family, today’s Feast of the Holy Family truly belongs to all of us. Look around then and see the people around us are indeed members of our family.

We then pray in gratitude for our respective families both in its usual and expanded meaning. We pray for a greater familiarity and unity of sense as we become better witnesses of God’s love.


49 posted on 12/30/2012 6:49:04 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

 


<< Sunday, December 30, 2012 >> Holy Family
 
1 Samuel 1:20-22, 24-28
1 John 3:1-2, 21-24

View Readings
Psalm 84:2-3, 5-6, 9-10
Luke 2:41-52

 

FAMILY ECOLOGY

 
Jesus "was submissive to them. His mother meanwhile kept all these things in memory. Jesus, for His part, progressed steadily in wisdom and age and grace before God and men." —Luke 2:51-52, our transl.
 

In the Christmas season, the Lord graces us to grow in love for Him even more deeply than at most other times of the year. We will receive this new and deeper love at Mass, through God's Word, by witnessing for Jesus, by forgiving our enemies, and in many other ways. In trying to deepen our love for the members of our family, we will also grow in our love for the Lord.

The way to love your family more deeply is to be yourself, that is, to fulfill your God-given role in the family. Because God created families to be ecological, the various roles and dynamics of family life are intricately interrelated. For example, a single parent shouldn't try to be a "double-parent." Parents shouldn't try to be a peer to their children. While all people are called to be submissive on many occasions, wives are to be the main models of submission (see Eph 5:22). Otherwise, most people will not be submissive and will misunderstand submission, as is the case in the Western world today. Fathers are to take the greatest responsibility in making their children disciples of Christ. There are, of course, many other examples.

The Lord expects us only to be ourselves and to do our best. He will provide what is missing in the family. In being ourselves and doing our best in family life, we will know the depth of Christ's love in a new way this Christmas season (Eph 3:18). Try to be a holy family. Know a new love for Jesus.

 
Prayer: Father, teach me the ecology of family life and love.
Promise: "See what love the Father has bestowed on us in letting us be called children of God." —1 Jn 3:1
Praise: Praise Jesus, holy and risen Lord! "Give to the Lord, you families of nations, give to the Lord glory and praise; give to the Lord the glory due His name!" (Ps 96:8)

50 posted on 12/30/2012 7:03:47 PM PST by Salvation (("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26))
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