Sunday, December 29, 2013

Today's Mass Readings- Sunday, December 29, 2013 with Reflection

1ST READING - Sirach 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 he is heard. Whoever reveres his father will live a long life; he who obeys his father brings comfort to his mother. 12 My son, take care of your father when he is old; grieve him not as long as he lives. 13 Even if his mind fail, be considerate with him; revile him not all the days of his life; 14kindness to a father will not be forgotten, firmly planted against the debt of your sin — a house raised in justice to you.
P S A L M - Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
R: Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.
Blessed is everyone who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways! For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; blessed shall you be, and favored. (R) Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the recesses of your home; your children like olive plants around your table. (R) 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)
2nd READING - Colossians 3:12-21
12 Brothers and sisters: Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 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. 14 And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful. 16 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. 17 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. 18 Wives, be subordinate to your husbands, as is proper in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and avoid any bitterness toward them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord. 21Fathers, do not provoke your children, so they may not become discouraged.
Let the peace of Christ control your hearts; let the words of Christ dwell in you richly.
Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23
13 When the magi had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” 14 Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. 15 He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” 19 When Herod had died, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” 21 He rose, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go back there. And because he had been warned in a dream, he departed for the region of Galilee. 23 He went and dwelt in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, “He shall be called a Nazorean.”



I was at an open air concert many years ago. During the interlude, I noticed a young boy wandering around the park looking for his parents. In a state of angst he cried out, “Mommy,” in the midst of the multitude. In one moment, the whole crowd cried out in pity for the child who had been separated from his parents. Soon, the child was reunited with his mother. The crowd of people cried out in delight and made their relief known through a sudden round of applause. Similarly, the Gospel tells of Mary’s desperation in looking for her Son.

       They were returning from the Passover. Usually, families would gather in groups and head back home. Thus, Mary and Joseph presumed that Jesus was with their cousins going home. To their shock and amazement, Jesus was nowhere in sight. Can you imagine the desperation of Mary as she searched for her child? Any mother will identify with her. Meanwhile, Jesus is unaware of their trouble. Upon finding Jesus in the temple, Mary expresses her concern that she had not known of his whereabouts. Luke comments that Jesus went home with them and lived under their authority.

       Today is the Feast of the Holy Family. We thank God for bringing us into a family, where we can live and learn the ways of God. One of the commandments is that we honor our mother and father, those who have given us life. They are representatives of God, entrusted with the right and duty to exercise care and concern over our lives. We are to submit to their authority during our years of development. The family should be a great school whereby we learn to love and live according to the ways of God. Of course, each family is unique in the eyes of God. Each family has its own weaknesses, sins, secrets and traditions. Through the birth of Jesus, we are born into another family that is the family of God, the Church. We are to submit our lives to God our Father in obedience and faithful love. In God’s family, we learn to be busy with the Father’s business, placing Him above all things. Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
REFLECTION QUESTION: Are you busy about the Father’s affairs?
Lord, thank You for the gift of my family. Amen.

St. Thomas Becket, bishop and martyr, pray for us.

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