December 29, 2019

Holy Family

December 29, 2019:  Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

See 15 connections with today?
Legend below
And how do the socks fit in?

The Holy Family is made holy through a gift of God and also because of their free and responsible adherence to God's plan; they were open to God’s will.

Mary was amazingly docile to the Holy Spirit.  She was about to solidify her life plan through profound communion with her husband, but when she became aware of God's call to her, she unhesitatingly proclaimed herself ‘servant.’

The gospels don't report anything Joseph said, but his actions show his obedience.  When he found out Mary was pregnant, he was going to send her away secretly so she could be free to adhere to God's will.

Jesus is the Father's will; in Him there was not 'yes' and 'no, only 'yes.'    This manifested itself so often in his early life.  When his parents found him in the Temple, he said, “Didn't you know I had to be about my Father’s business?”  He said, "My food is to do the will of the one who sent me.”   At Gethsemane he prayed, "Father, if this chalice can't be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done."

All these events realized "Sacrifice or offering you did not desire; then I said:  'Behold, I come to do your will.'"  This Family represents a choral response to the Father's will; each part helped the others discover and fulfill God’s plan.  Today may parents and children sustain each other in adhering to the Gospel, the foundation of the holiness in the family.

  • Sir 3:2-6, 12-14  God sets parents over their children.  Honor your parents:  atone for sins, preserve yourself, store up riches, have your prayers heard, and live long.  Take care of your father; your kindness won't be forgotten.
  • Ps 128:1-5  "Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways."  You'll eat the fruit of your handiwork; your wife shall be like a fruitful vine and your children like olive plants around your table.
Wordle: Readings 12-29-13
  • Col 3:12-21 [quintessential "dress your life" reading]:  Put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Bear with and forgive one another.  Put on love, and let Christ's peace control you.  Teach one another, singing with gratitude to God.  Do everything in Jesus' name, giving God thanks through him.  Wives, be subordinate to your husbands; husbands, love your wives and don't provoke your children; children, obey your parents.
  • Mt 2:13-15, 19-23  Angel to Joseph:  “Flee to Egypt; Herod wants to destroy your child.”  They departed.  When Herod died, angel told Joseph: “Go to Israel; those who sought the child’s life are dead.”  They went, but when he heard Herod's son was ruling, he was afraid, departed for Galilee, and went to Nazareth.
  • Creighton:  Consider the communication between God and Joseph.  If we're open, God communicates and moves us, maybe through song, others' words or actions, a feeling in our stomach...; for Joseph, it was an angel, and he trusted the message and acted.  Consider also the hardships Jesus, Mary, and Joseph endured:  travel during pregnancy, giving birth away from home, living in less than ideal conditions.  Now, they had to leave in haste because someone was looking to kill Jesus. Mary and Joseph endured their share of parental stress, but they were open to receiving strength from the Spirit. To be good parents, we must be open and available to the Spirit.  Matthew stresses the importance of family.  Today's gospel demonstrates that trust, love, and support (relational togetherness) are necessary.  Imagine what it was like for Mary and Joseph to have to move.....
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Eternal family reunion":  Christmas is hard when a loved one has died recently, but we hope our families will unite in heaven, where, if God has his way, no one will be missing.  For our families to stay together in heaven, we must repent of sin and love the Lord with heart, soul, mind, and strength, be in right relationship with each other, honoring our parents and loving each other, pray as a family, and forgive family members.  If you're discouraged about the state of your family, be hopeful and confident the Lord loves each member and can change the hardest heart.
  • Passionist:  The 1st reading is about honoring one’s parents, and being considerate of them.  It can be hard to care for an aging parent; that's another reason to support each other.  The 2nd reading gives guidance about our immediate family and also exhorts us about how to relate to each other in community:  “Put on... compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another....  Put on love, and let Christ's peace control you.”  It's not easy, but we know Jesus repeatedly refers to forgiveness; may we treat each other as Jesus treats us.  The gospel, though it has to do with the Holy Family, has many parallels with what's going on today and teaches us how to relate not just to those we love but also to others.  The "flight to Egypt" circumstances touch many of today's "hot buttons."  Many see a parallel to Herod's slaughter of infant boys to today's abortions; others see in the plight of the Holy Family the plight of refugees and migrants.  Others are in danger because of poverty, malnutrition, inadequate medical care, or human trafficking.   We can become numb or even hostile because of our preconceptions or mistrust.  But why aren't we indifferent to the Holy Family's plight?  Because we know their story?  Each person is sacred and precious to God!  May we recognize others' sacredness and listen to their stories:  May our striving for holiness in our families be shown in “putting on” God's love for all....
  •  "An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream":  Joseph and Mary raised Jesus in the reverence and wisdom of the Lord.  Joseph is a man of God, praying, obedient, and willing to serve.  He recognized God's hand in the Incarnation.  He cares for his family diligently, setting aside his own plans when called.  God has a plan for each of us and gives us grace and guidance.  Do I trust him?  Will I  sacrifice my plans for his sake?
Dress legend
  • 'Money bag' tie pin:   Revere your mother; store up riches (1st reading) 
  • Tie with grapes and other fruit:  Your wife will be like a fruitful vine; you who walk in the Lord's ways shall eat the fruit of your handiwork (psalm)
  • 'Walker/runner' tie pin:  "Blessed those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways" (psalm); flee to Egypt (gospel)
  • 'Heart' pin:  Put on love; love your wives; love one another; grateful hearts; let Christ's peace control your hearts; if our hearts don't condemn us, we have confidence in God (2nd reading)
  • 'Love' suspenders sticker (oops; cropped out):  Put on love; love your wives (2nd reading)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  Let Christ's peace control you (2nd reading)
  • 'Celebrate teaching' pin:  Teach each other... (2nd reading)
  • 'Owl' tie pin: wisdom (2nd reading)
  • "Happy birthday, Jesus" pin:  Christmas season; do everything in Jesus' name (2nd reading)
  • Dressing today:  'Put on' compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (2nd reading)
  • 'Treble clef' tie pin:  Sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (2nd reading)
  • Angel:  Angel speaking to Joseph (gospel)
  • 'Magnifying glass' tie pin:  Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him (gospel)
  • Socks with roses:  Joseph 'rose' (gospel :-)
  • White shirt:  Color of today's celebration
    Special blessings to and prayers for our Holy Family parish and school communities
    in Artesia, Glendale, South Pasadena, and Wilmington!

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