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The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

December 30, 2018

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every year that begins at 12:00am on of December, repeating indefinitely

The Holy Family – Feast

Commentary of the day

Saint John-Paul II, Pope from 1978 to 2005

Angelus address for 28/12/1980

The mystery of the Holy Family

Brothers and sisters: on Christmas day, when we made our way in spirit to Bethlehem where the divine Word became flesh, we had the impenetrable mystery of the God made incarnate for us and our salvation under the eyes of our faith. But at the same time this mystery is clothed in the familiar form of the family, the human family. For ever since the night when Joseph’s wife, the Virgin Mary, brought Jesus into the world, that family was revealed which the Church devoutly venerates today.

Following on from this holy family of Bethlehem and Nazareth in which Christ, the very Son of the living God, became the son, the Church thinks today about each family in the world. She speaks to each one and prays for each one. This feast is the Day of the Family. Just as the family in Nazareth was the privileged place of love, the particular setting where mutual respect of people for one another and for their vocation reigned, just as it was also the first school in which the Christian message was deeply lived, so Christian families are, and must be, communities of love and life, their two fundamental values.

On this day I invite everyone to meditate and consciously live what God, the Church, the whole of humanity expect today from the family. I invite you to unite yourselves with my prayer for all families: “O God, ‘from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named’ (Eph 3:15), you, Father, who are both Love and Life, grant that through your Son Jesus Christ, born of a woman, and through the Holy Spirit, source of divine charity, every family may become a true sanctuary of life and love for ever new generations. May your grace direct the thoughts and actions of couples towards the greater good of their families; may your love, strengthened by the grace of the sacrament, overcome all weaknesses and crises. And may the Church be enabled to accomplish her mission fruitfully in and through the family.”

 


The Work of God

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

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


Zenit.org

The Gospel of the Family

Sunday within the Octave of Christmas

HolyFamilybyGutierrez – Wikimedia Commons

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph – Year B – December 31, 2017

Roman Rite

1 Sam 1:20-22.24-28; 1 Jn 3:1-2.21-24; Lk 2:41- 52

Ambrosian Rite

1 Jn 1:1 t- 10; Ps 96; Rm 10:8c-15; Jn 21:19c-24

Third of the eighth days of Christmas – St. John the Apostle and Evangelist

 

  • From a temple to another.

A few days after the Solemnity of Christmas, the liturgy today makes us celebrate the Holy Family of Nazareth and we are invited to contemplate and imitate the life of the “earthly” family of Jesus. What do we see? The Gospel of St. Luke shows us that in this unique family not only the figure of the Son of God, the divine Person who assumes the full humanity of His creatures, the God with us, the Prince of Peace emerges. The evangelist highlights the Mother of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, her husband, collaborator of the plan of salvation for men and “guardian of the Redemption” (Saint John Paul II).

How can such a unique family be a model for our families? It is a family only apparently like all the others, but so unique that encourages us to think that it is inimitable: a Son who is God, a mother who is the Immaculate Virgin, and a father who is the wise person per excellence.

Jesus, God made man, gives us an example of a son in a family that becomes a model for the families of all times and all places.

Jesus did not rush to present himself as the Messiah. In a small town on the outskirts of the Roman Empire, in the seclusion of a simple family, this Son lived a normal life, growing in grace and spirit up to the moment when it was time to begin the mission that the Father had entrusted to him. It is a mission that led to his death and resurrection, making us from a people without a future to a people called to follow him in holiness and in the joy of the fullness of Life, now and forever. I think that, looking at the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, our families are encouraged to be more and more “small domestic churches” where God is present and where we learn to live, walking in the Light of the Gospel, the Good News, the only sure guide in a world that has lost the gaze on the Light of Heaven and sees only the lights of the Earth.

To his parents who had been looking for him for three days, Jesus answers that they should have known that the path of his life was to do what is dear to his Father. He had stayed for three days in the temple of his Father, dealing precisely with the things of his Father (see Lk 2, 49). Then, because the Gospel is to be lived in everyday life, he goes back with Mary and Joseph to the daily life of Nazareth. He returns with his parents to Nazareth and he is obedient to them. He leaves the Temple for the “domestic temple”, where everything is organized for His divine presence and where his humanity grows in wisdom and grace.

The Redeemer has left the teachers of the Law who taught in the Temple of Jerusalem, to be with Mary and Joseph who are masters of life in that special school that is their home in Nazareth. The Son of God learns from them the art of being a man. He looks at his mother Mary who is tenderly strong, but never passive. He looks at Joseph, the legal father of Jesus, for whom the putative father has, “thanks to a special gift from heaven, all that natural love, all that affectionate solicitude that a father’s heart can know” (a phrase of Pope Pius XII cited In Redemptoris Custos, 8).

 

  • The Holy Family as school and real and not just ideal model of a family.

It is a simple life that of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, who resembles very much our own. Mary is the mother, as our mothers, attentive and alert, but above all, as Immaculate and therefore all of God, educates her son to the true meaning of life, which is to carry out the mission that the Father had entrusted to him, sending him among us. The House of Nazareth was not a school only for Jesus, but it is for us, as taught by B. Pope Paul VI: “Nazareth is the school in which we begin to understand the life of Jesus. It is the school of the Gospel. Here we learn to observe, to listen, to meditate, and to penetrate the profound and mysterious meaning of that simple, humble, and lovely manifestation of the Son of God. And perhaps we learn almost imperceptibly to imitate Him. “(Homily in Nazareth – January 05, 1964).

The Gospel of St. Luke tells us about the daily and holy life of Joseph and Mary who in their hesitation, in their questions, in their attitudes, in their weakness far from perfect and ideal, look like so many parents. At the same time they are the real and the original model of family, where virginity, marriage, and parenting coexist. To the Christian couples the Lord asks that, through their union, the twofold end of marriage is realized: the good of the spouses and the transmission of life. It is not possible to separate these two meanings or values of marriage, without altering the couple’s spiritual life and compromising the good of marriage and the future of the family. Christian couples are asked to live in marital chastity. In this regard, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: “The actions within marriage by which the couple are united intimately and chastely are noble and worthy ones. Expressed in a manner which is truly human, these actions promote that mutual self-giving by which spouses enrich each other with a joyful and a ready will. “[ Gaudium et Spes, section 49]”.

Virginity, though, strictly speaking, belongs to the consecrated and refers to eternity. But virginity is also constitutive of the original family, therefore there is an inseparable link between Christian couples and persons consecrated for the Kingdom of God and this link is the Holy Family of Nazareth.

The consecrated Virgins in the world testify that virginity doesn’t mean to be without affections, even if it involves giving up a carnal family and physical relationship to be fully available to the task of a spiritual, but concrete fruitfulness to which the Lord has called them. Christ is at the heart of Christian marriage and the consecrated Virgins testify that, if all is given to Christ, life is really fruitful. Like the Virgin Mary, they preserve in their hearts a mystery greater than themselves and carry it into the world.

St. Augustine keenly teaches that the importance of spiritual motherhood is not in conflict with carnal motherhood: “(the Church) imitates the mother of her husband, and her Lord. For the Church also is both a mother and a virgin. For whose virgin purity consult we for, if she is not a virgin? Or whose children address we, if she is not a mother? Mary bare the Head of This Body after the flesh, the Church bears the members of that Body after the Spirit. In both virginity hinders not fruitfulness: in both fruitfulness takes not away virginity. Wherefore, whereas the whole Church is holy both in body and spirit, and yet the whole is not virgin in body but in spirit; how much more holy is it in these members, wherein it is virgin both in body and spirit? It is written in the Gospel, of the mother and brethren of Christ, that is, His kindred after the flesh, that, when word had been brought to Him, and they were standing without, because they could not come to Him by reason of the crowd, He made answer, who is my mother? Or who are my brethren? And stretching forth His Hand over His disciples, He says, these are my brethren: and whosoever shall have done the will of my Father, that man is to me brother, and mother, and sister.”(De Virginitate, 2.2-3.3).

The consecrated Virgins show that the example of Mary, Virgin, and Mother, is present and can be practiced even today. They are called to live a maternity of Grace.

Mary has opened the way for all women who, after her, welcome the call of God to give their hearts to the Lord in virginity. Of course, not only women are called to the virginal life; it should be remembered that Christ has committed himself to it and has also committed his apostles too.

However, the expression “to marry God”, is more appropriate to the woman. Christian virgins were considered, since ancient times, as brides of Christ. It can be said that they represent, in the most appropriate and most complete way, the quality of bride of Christ that is attributed to the church. This relationship of bride with Christ is embodied in the consecrated Virgins.


Archdiocese of Washington

What is a Holy Family? A Homily for the Feast of the Holy Family

December 30, 2017

Here in the Christmas Octave, the Church bids us to celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. On the old calendar, it falls later (the Sunday after Epiphany), which makes a little more sense as the Gospels appointed for the feast often take place far forward in time from His birth. The Gospel this year is only forty days into the future (as compared to other years, when the gospel takes place twelve years into the future), but it is still well past the Feast of the Epiphany, which we have yet to celebrate.

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. It is important that we understand what God teaches and effectively proclaim it. In pondering the question of what a holy family is, recall that the primary meaning of the word “holy” is “set apart” or “different. Thus, even if our families are not sin-free, they can be holy if we follow God’s plan.

On this Feast of the Holy Family, let us consider marriage and family along three lines: structure, struggles, and strategy.

I. Structure – All through the readings for Sunday Mass, we are instructed on the basic form, the basic structure of the family. For example,

  • God sets a father in honor over his children; a mother’s authority he confirms over her sons (Sirach 3:2).
  • 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).
  • 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).
  • 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).
  • And he was obedient to them; … And Jesus advanced in age and wisdom and favor before God and man (Luke 2:51–52).

In these passages we see the basic structure of the family:

  • A father in honor over his children
  • A wife and mother who is supportive of her husband and his authority
  • A husband who supports, loves, and encourages his wife
  • A mother in authority over her children
  • Children who honor and obey their parents
  • Fathers, and by extension mothers, who instruct and admonish their children, not in a way that badgers or discourages them, but rather encourages them and builds them up.
  • A family structure that helps children to advance in wisdom and age and in favor before God and man.
  • A father, a mother, and children, all reverential and supportive of one another in their various roles and duties.

This is God’s basic teaching on family and marriage. It is the basic structure for the family as God sets it forth: a man who loves his wife and a woman who loves her husband. 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 lays out how God sets forth marriage: A man shall leave his father and mother, cling to his wife, and the two of them shall become one flesh (Gen 2:24). To this first couple, God gave the mandate, Be fruitful and multiply (Gen 1:22).

Note, that the structure of the family takes its basic form based on its essential work: procreation and the 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? Because that is what is best and just for children! Children both need and deserve a stable, lasting union of their father and mother as well as the complementary influence of the two different sexes. It is the best environment in which to raise and form children. The family structure of a father and a mother, a male and a female parent, as set forth by God, flows from what is best and just for children. It is what is sensible and what is best sociologically and psychologically for the proper development of children.

Even without opening the Bible, one can see that it makes sense that a child should have a father and a mother, should have the influence and teaching of both a male and a female. There are things that a father, a male, can teach a child that a mother, a female, cannot teach as well. The mother, a female, can teach and model for children what only she knows best. Both male and female influences are essential for the proper psychological and sociological development of children. God’s biblical mandate that marriage should consist of a father and a mother is not without basis in human reason and common sense.

To intentionally deprive a child of this environment is both unjust to the child and unwise. 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 the relationship between mother and father should be a stable one, something that the children can depend on from day-to-day, month-to-month, and year-to-year.

The proper structure for marriage is set forth both by God and human reason.

II. Struggles – Yet what should be obvious to us as a culture seems to be strangely absent from the minds of many. Let us be clear: sin clouds judgment and makes many think that what is sinful and improper is in fact acceptable or even good. It is not. In our current culture we gravely sin against God and against our children through repeated misconduct and by our 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 that marriage and the family are in crisis today. It is also clear that it is children who suffer the most. The modern Western world displays a mentality that is both deeply flawed and gravely harmful to children. The crisis is a result of the willful, sinful habits of the vast majority of adults in the areas of sexuality, marriage, and family life. The rebellion of adults against the plan and order of God has caused endless grief and hardship and has led to a cultural environment that is poisonous to the proper raising and blessing of children.

Children have much to suffer in this world of our collective making. While not all of us are equally guilty of contributing to their suffering, none of us is 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 each other until death do them part.

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

Many children are conceived out of fornication, and tragically many of them are murdered by abortion. The overwhelming majority of abortions are performed on unmarried women. Despite all the claims that contraception makes every baby a wanted baby, the data show that nothing could be further from the truth. Abortion has skyrocketed since the widespread availability of contraception. This is because the problem is not fertility; it is lust, promiscuity, fornication, and adultery. Contraception fuels these problems with the lie that there is no necessary connection between sex and procreation. The promises associated with contraception are lies; contraception has the opposite effect.

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

Add to this picture the large number of divorced families. Make no mistake about it, these shredded families cause great hardship and pain for children, including being shuttled back and forth between households each week, having to meet “Daddy’s new girlfriend” or “Mommy’s new boyfriend,” and enduring all sorts of other family chaos. Blended families also dramatically increase the likelihood of sexual and emotional abuse, because strictly legal relationships seldom have the built-in protections of natural ones.

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 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 to be treated for 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 (Getting the Marriage Conversation Right: A Guide for Effective Dialogue, William B. May).

Add to the burdens that children must experience the new trend of adoption by same-sex couples. Never mind that it is best for the psychological development of a child to have a father and a mother, a male and a female influence. No, what is best and just for children must be sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. In many states, same-sex couples and heterosexual couples must be given equal consideration as adoptive parents. It is the adults and their “rights” that seem to matter most; what is best for children is quite secondary.

Here, then, are the struggles we face. Our families are in grave crisis and most children in our culture are not raised in the stable and committed homes they deserve. Let us be even more clear: to intentionally deprive children of this sort of home by raising them outside of a (traditional (male/female)) marriage is sinful, wrong, and an injustice.

Disclaimer – It is not possible to judge every instance of a broken family in sweeping fashion. The modern world has experienced a cultural tsunami and many have been influenced by lies and false promises. If you are divorced, you may well have tried valiantly to save your marriage but your spouse was unwilling. Perhaps in a moment of weakness, perhaps before your conversion to Christ, you fell and bore children outside of marriage, but have done your best since then to raise them well.

In the end, though, we must say that children have had much to suffer on account of adult misbehavior. We need to repent and beg God’s grace and mercy to undo 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 a phrase, “Preach the Word.”

This strategic proclamation must include these key elements:

  • No sex before marriage, ever, under any circumstances. Sexual intercourse is rooted in the procreation of children and there is no legitimate use of it outside of marriage, ever. There are no exceptions.
  • Children deserve and have the right to expect two parents, a father and a 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.
  • Gay unions, or single mothers and fathers are not an acceptable alternative to biblical marriage. To intentionally subject children to this, for the sake of political correctness or for the perceived needs of adults, does them a grave injustice.
  • Married couples must learn to work out their differences (as was done in the past) and not head for divorce court, something that offends God (cf Malachi 2:16).
  • The needs of children far outweigh the preferences and needs of adults.
  • Marriage is about what is best for children, not adults.

Regardless of 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. Even if many of us have fallen short, we must not hesitate to announce God’s plan.

In short, back to the Bible! Back to the plan of God! Away with modern experiments and unbiblical schemes! God has given us a plan. Thinking that we had better ideas, we have caused great sorrow and hardship for our descendants. We have acted unjustly. We have murdered our children through abortion. Through our selfish misbehavior, we have sown the wind and now our descendants have inherited the whirlwind. It is time to repent. We must help our progeny to rejoice in chastity, marriage, and the biblical family. Otherwise we are doomed to perish.

God has a plan. Our strategy to address this crisis of our times must be to get back to God’s structure for our families.


Video

 


Archdiocese of Washington

God’s Plan for Marriage and Family – A Homily for the Feast of the Holy Family

December 26, 2015

Holy-Family-blog

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 fell on the Sunday after Epiphany, which makes some sense. For it is a bit odd with the new calendar to read a gospel portraying Jesus at twelve years of age when we celebrated His birth just a few days ago. And then next week, on the Feast of Epiphany, we revert back to a gospel in which He is an infant.

Nevertheless, here we are. Perhaps it is a good time to reflect on family life. For at Christmas time, immediate and extended family often gather together. On this feast of the Holy Family, let us consider three things: the structure of the family, the struggles of the family, and our strategy for the family.

I. Structure — All through the readings for today’s Mass, we are instructed on the basic form or structure of the family.

  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 the 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, not in a way that badgers or discourages them, but in a way that encourages them and builds them up.

  6. A family structure that helps children to advance in age, wisdom, and favor before God and man

This, then, is God’s basic teaching on family and marriage. This is the basic structure that God sets for the family: a man who loves his wife; a woman who loves her husband; and children conceived within their stable, lasting, and faithful union of mutual support and love, and raised in the holy fear of the Lord.

Add to this the principal description of the book of Genesis, which describes how God sets 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 the Bible sets forth the basic structure for the family: a father, a mother, and children, all of whom are reverential and who support 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?

Because this is what is best for children! Children both need and deserve the stable and lasting union of a father and a mother, as well as the complementary influence of the two different sexes. This is the best atmosphere in which to raise and form children. Hence, the family structure of a father and a mother, a male and a female parent, flows from what is best for children. The structure of the family, as set forth by God, is rooted in what is best for children. This is what is sensible. And it is what is best, both sociologically and psychologically, for the proper development of children.

Even without considering the Bible, it makes intuitive sense that a child should have both a father and a mother, a male and a female influence. There are things that a father, a male, can better teach and model for a child than can a mother, a female. And there are things that a mother, a female, can better teach and model for a child than can a father, a male.

This much is clear before we even open the Bible. Both male and female influences are essential for the proper psychological and sociological development of a child. Clearly, then, God’s biblical mandate, that marriage should include both 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 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 the relationship should be stable, something upon which children can depend from day to day, month to month, and year to year throughout their formative years.

This, then, is the proper structure for marriage. It is set forth both by God and 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 judgment, making many think that what is sinful and improper is in fact good and acceptable. It is not. In our current culture we gravely sin against God and against our children through 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. It is also clear that it is the children who suffer the most. Our modern age in the Western world displays a mentality that is both deeply flawed and gravely harmful to children.

Marriage and family are in great crisis due to the willful, sinful behavior of the vast majority of adults in our culture in the areas of sexuality, marriage, and family life. The rebellion of adults against God’s plan has caused endless grief and hardship, and has created a culture that is poisonous to the proper raising and blessing of children.

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

Consider that most children today are not born into the stable and lasting family unit they justly deserve, with a father and mother committed to each other till death do them part.

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

The fact is that many children today are conceived out of fornication. Tragically, most children who are thus conceived are outright murdered by abortion. Approximately 85% of abortions are performed on unmarried women. Despite all the claims that contraception makes every baby a “wanted” baby, nothing could be further from the truth. With the increased availability of contraception, abortion has skyrocketed. This is because the problem is not fertility; it is lust, promiscuity, fornication, and adultery. Contraception fuels these problems by further enabling them. The promises associated with contraception are lies; contraception does the opposite of what it promises.

Thus fornication and the contraceptive mentality (founded on lies) cause grave harm to children, beginning with abortion in huge numbers. And the children conceived of fornication who do manage to survive until birth are often subjected to the injustice of being born into irregular situations (e.g., households headed by single parents).

Add to this dismal picture the large number of divorced families. Make no mistake, these shredded families cause great hardship and pain for children. Children are shuttled back and forth between different households each week; they have to meet Daddy’s new girlfriend or Mommy’s new boyfriend; they endure all sorts of other family chaos. Blended families also dramatically increase the likelihood of sexual and emotional abuse because purely legal relationships seldom have the built-in protections of natural relationships.

All of this misbehavior, individual and cultural, harms children. Not being raised by parents 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 single motherhood/absent fatherhood.
71% of poor families are not married.
Children of single parent homes are two times more likely to be arrested for juvenile crime,
two 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,
three 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
[Getting the Marriage Conversation Right, by William B. May].

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

These, then, are our struggles. Our families are in grave crisis; most children in our culture today 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 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 a cultural tsunami and many have been influenced by lies and false promises. If you are divorced, it may be the case that you tried to save your marriage but that your spouse was unwilling. Perhaps in a moment of weakness, or before your conversion to Christ, you fell and bore children outside of marriage but since then have done your best to raise them well.

In the end, though, children in our culture have had much to suffer on account of adult misbehavior. We need to repent and to beg God’s grace and mercy for our grave sins of commission, omission, and silence. We have set forth a bitter world for our children to inherit.

III. Strategy — So what are we to do? Preach the Word! Whatever the sins of those 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 we 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 or outside of marriage, ever, or under any circumstances. Sexual intercourse is designed for procreation, the production of children, and there is no legitimate use of it except within marriage.

  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 acceptable alternatives to biblical marriage. To intentionally subject children to this for the sake of “political correctness” does them a grave injustice.

  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 resort to divorce, 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.

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 ideas, have caused great sorrow and hardship for our descendants. We have acted unjustly. We have murdered or children through abortion. By sowing in the wind we have caused those who have survived our misbehavior to inherit the whirlwind. It is time to repent and to help our heirs to rejoice in chastity, marriage, and the biblical family. Otherwise we are doomed to perish.

God’s plan must be our strategy in escaping from our struggles. We must get 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?”     Video


The Holy Family

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)

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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

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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

  1. 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 ConsortioOn 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)

33 posted on 12/27/2015, 12:20:30 PM by Salvation (“With God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26)

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To: Salvation

God’s Plan for Marriage and Family – A Homily for the Feast of the Holy Family
Focused on a Functional Family: A Homily for the Feast of the Holy Family
Imitating the Holy Family: Four Traits that Make It Possible

[Catholic Caucus] On the Holy Family [Angelus]
Biblical Teachings on Marriage and Family. A Homily for the Feast of the Holy Family
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…

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December 30, 2018
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