Monday, December 25, 2017

Dec. 31, 2017 - The Feast of the Holy Family

The Feast of the Holy Family   -   Year B

Reading I:  Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14

Psalm:  105

Reading II:  Col. 3:12-21

Gospel:  Luke 2:22-40

I was attracted to this picture of the birth of Jesus because the cave resembled the one which I saw in Bethlehem,  which was shown as most likely the kind in which Jesus was born.

In these lowly circumstances, we see Joseph and Mary quietly contemplating the Son of God in an atmosphere of love. That is the atmosphere that St. Paul calls the Colossian Christians to create as they strive to practice “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another.”

Also, St. Paul exhorts them to be thankful. Paul encourages them: “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.” What a wonderful recipe for a happy New Year in a family, community, country or world!!!

As we attempt to choose a New Year’s resolution, let us ask the Lord to point out to us what we should focus on this year. Let us also ask him to help us to keep our resolutions. Finally, let us thank the Lord for the blessings of his faithful presence with us through the ups and downs of the past year and put our trust in his loving care in the future.

Give thanks to the Lord, invoke His name,
make known among the peoples His deeds!
Sing praise, play music; proclaim His wondrous deeds!
Glory in His holy name; rejoice,
O hearts that seek 
the Lord!
Rely on the mighty Lord; constantly seek His face.

— Psalm 105:1-4

 Reflection:  What is one realistic New Year’s resolution I can make?

Happy New Year to You and Yours!

Spanish Translation of Reflection Above...

La fiesta de la Sagrada Familia

Me atrajo esta imagen del nacimiento de Jesús (que se muestra arriba) porque la cueva se parecía a la que vi en Belén, que se mostró como muy probablemente el tipo en el que nació Jesús.

En estas circunstancias humildes, vemos a José y María contemplando en silencio al Hijo de Dios en una atmósfera de amor. Esa es la atmósfera que St. Paul
llama a los cristianos colosenses para crear mientras luchan por practicar “la compasión, la bondad, la humildad, la gentileza y la paciencia, soportándose unos a otros y perdonándose unos a otros”.

Además, San Pablo les exhorta a estar agradecidos. Pablo los alienta: “Que la palabra de Cristo habite en abundancia en vosotros, como en toda sabiduría enseñéis y amonestados los unos a los otros, cantando salmos, himnos y canciones espirituales con gratitud en vuestros corazones a Dios”. Qué maravillosa receta para un feliz Año Nuevo en una familia, comunidad, país
o mundo !!!

Mientras intentamos elegir una resolución de Año Nuevo, solicitemos al Señor que nos indique en qué debemos enfocarnos este año. Permítanos también pedirle que nos ayude a mantener nuestras resoluciones. Finalmente, agradezcamos al Señor por las bendiciones de su presencia fiel con nosotros a través de los altibajos del año pasado y confiemos en su amoroso cuidado en el futuro.

Den gracias al Señor, invoquen Su nombre,
hacer conocer entre los pueblos sus obras!
Canten alabanza, toquen música; proclama sus obras maravillosas!
Gloria en su santo nombre; alegrarse,
Oh corazones que buscan al Señor!
Confiar en el poderoso Señor; busca constantemente su rostro

- Salmo 105: 1-4

 Pregunta de reflexión:   ¿Cuál es la resolución realista de Año Nuevo que puedo hacer?

Feliz año nuevo para ti y para ti!


  1. Sr.Therese M. Warner, SBSDecember 26, 2017 at 8:35 AM

    Yes, this is a time for looking back on 2017 and forward to 2018 - assessing the past and planning for the future. The suggestion about emphasizing one special resolution seems very prudent. May the Holy Spirit guide us constantly through our lives!

    The following excerpts are from a homily delivered by Father Tom de Simone:

    "Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family as we always do on the Sunday after the Nativity of Our Lord."...

    "We read from the Book of Genesis, Chapter 15, 1-6 and 21, 1-3... Abram has been slowly building a relationship with God and his growing trust has become ardent... Since God called him, Abram's life has become a journey of faith."

    "In the second reading, in the letter to the Hebrews, Chapter 11, we are reminded of Abram's promise to God and God's testing his faith when he was asked to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. We are again reminded of Abram's faith and obedience. In these trying times and the many attacks on the family - are we clinging to our faith in God?"

    "We, too, have been given the gift of faith and if we have faith the size of a mustard seed we can move mountains. However, sometimes we may want to see the mountains move now! We don't see the practical results of our faith and trust in God. Sometimes we are tempted to give up."

    "The Holy Family suffered for the truth and so shall we. Let us not give in to the demons of discouragement: skepticism, cynicism and doubt. Let us cast them out in the name of Jesus Christ. Let us not ask, 'when will you make it end?', but rather ask, 'What can I do, dear Lord, to help teach your children the truth of your love for them, and teach them Who you truly are, and rebuke the evil confusing our society?' He is with us always - ready to help us with his grace. All we need to do is ask for it."

  2. When I think of the Holy Family I envision peace, harmony, respect, and love. As my thoughts drift to my own family I‘m dismayed by all the bickering, judgements, disconnect and hurt. Of course, love exists at the core but we’ve got a ways to travel before we reach (and live by) the awareness of Christ in ourselves and one another.
    Guerric DeBonna, OSB, writes, “The key to any honest-to-goodness family life is recognition of a spark of divinity that characterizes the relationships...The real Holy Family portrays not the perfect society but God’s perfect promise.” Jesus humbled himself to take on a human body and enter into a family life with Mary and Joseph. Obviously, family is sacred in God’s eyes.
    According to John Kavanaugh, “It is first and foremost in our relationships, our families, our friends, that God is encountered, that faith is given flesh…our most profound sufferings, our greatest heroics, our most significant encounters with God are here with these people we know and love, in their goodness, in their weakness ...It is one rather easy thing to love humanity. It is quite another to love this one, who is so close to me, so like me.”
    Sorrow, pain, heartbreak, forgiveness, joy, new life, death – these feelings and events are played out and experienced on the stage of family life. “Here is the holy ground,” says Kavanaugh. “Here is the face of God, the smile shining upon us, the kindly gaze upon us…These are the holy of holies if only we look, like Simeon; if only we see, like Anna; if only, like Mary, we take time to ponder it all in our hearts.”
    While today’s family may not always resemble the structure of the Holy Family, the model of the family of Nazareth is still relevant. They remind us of the importance of communicating love in communion with the Lord. Pope Francis, in one of his talks on the family, said, “Like Mary and Joseph, families have a mission to welcome Jesus into their homes and lives, to “listen to him, take care of him, protect him and grow with him, and in this way improve the world.”
    As we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family, perhaps we can consider if our daily interactions and conversations in our own households are based on the degree of respect and openness that existed in the home of the Holy Family.
    Pat C., ASBS