The shepherds went in haste and
found Mary and Joseph, and the Infant lying in a manger. Luke 2:16
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.
Blessed are those that fear the Lord and walk in his ways. Psalm 128
Every son or daughter can read the first reading and let it be a life long guide.
The second reading is a wonderful guide for family life.
We could all do well to prepare our New Year’s resolution desires from here.
The gospel tells the story from Matthew of the Holy Family becoming refugees
fleeing an unjust ruler. They will always know God’s fidelity in their crisis.
May God bless all our families with fidelity and courage in loving as we have been loved.
And let the peace of Christ control your hearts,
the peace into which you were also called in one body.
And be thankful. Colossians 3
Let us adore the Son of the living God who humbled himself
to become a son of human family, and let us beseech him:
Jesus, you became obedient; sanctify us.
Jesus, eternal Word of the Father, you made yourself subject
to Mary and Joseph,
– teach us humility.
You are our teacher, and your own mother pondered in
her heart every one of your words and deeds,
– make us attentive to your word, and let us ponder it in
hearts that are pure and good.
Christ, by your work the world was made, but you were
willing to be called a worker’s son,
– teach us to work diligently.
Jesus, in the family at Nazareth you grew in wisdom, age
and grace before God and men,
– help us to grow in all things toward you, our Head.
God of such faithfulness,
we are a big and messy family;
both as humans – and in my own family.
Help me today to be especially patient and loving,
and to forgive those who have hurt me.
We may not look like “The Holy Family” I see in paintings,
yet we are united with Jesus, Mary and Joseph
because in your great love for us
you sent your son to live in this world
and to share in our human experience.
Sometimes I forget the sacredness of our family life
and the privilege it is to be together in this bond.
Help me not only love others as you love us,
but to be more aware of those families in the world
who struggle so much with poverty, war and disease.
Help me to pray with and for them today
and to carry an awareness of all families fleeing for safety,
longing for the peace you offer to us all.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.