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Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Our Family The Family of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus 2021

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The Family of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus 2021

December 26, 2021

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Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14 ; Psalm 128; Colossians 3:12-21; Luke 2:41-52


On this Feast of the Family of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus, the Gospel reminds us that we belong to and are responsible for one another. Joseph and Mary traveled with their tribe to Jerusalem for the Passover meal, and certainly the tribe looks out each person, and Jesus was at the age to look after younger children who would have strayed. In biblical Jewish terms, Jesus was nearly a man and was learning responsibility for his relatives. While some emphasis is given to the concern of his parents, the greater awareness is that Jesus is choosing his way into adulthood, and he has chosen a life of service to others for the glory of God.


A most significant part of this passage is that Jesus returned to Nazareth with Joseph and Mary to learn obedience to them. Why is this important? It was the small details of obedience in daily life that allowed Jesus to understand his gift to us, which is his obedience of faith to God. He would not be able to understand the obedience of faith unless he learned the intricacies of obedience to his parents. It is the obedience of faith of Jesus that saves us; it is not our faith in him, but that he showed obedience to God that allowed God to resurrect him, to affirm all that he did. The act of obedience on the Cross means that we can be called the children of God, adopted into God’s family as beloved ones, because the Christ event was the act that brought us closer to God. God showed us, through the humanity in his Son, that God understood human suffering and wanted to show us compassion.


As we experience life, we know that there are no perfect human families, and as often as Christians strive for ideal family life, our awareness of the importance of charity and mercy is what defines Christian family life. Human families exist in many different ways, and what matters is that we are responsible for one another. We take care of each other’s formation and education, we assure essential health-care and make sure each is safe from diseases and afflictions, we include those who are unreconciled and estranged, we welcome those who may be different from us. We practice the care and hospitality that Jesus provides us, and naturally and generously extend it to others. The human family participates in the divine when we love one another with a love beyond all telling. This love will take care of all challenges, and we will always have a home. You will always be in the heart of Jesus, and you belong in our hearts as well. We are family.


Scripture for Daily Mass


Monday: (Acts 6) Stephen worked great wonders among the people and adversaries debated with him fiercely. They threw hit out of the city, stoned him, and laid him at Saul’s feet.  


Tuesday: (1 John) What we heard, and saw with our eyes, what we looked upon, and touched with our hands, concerns the Word of life.


Wednesday: (1 John) God is light and in him there is no darkness. We have fellowship with him. Walk in the light as he is in the light.  


Thursday: (1 John) We are friends with God if we keep his commandments. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light and there is nothing in him to cause a fall.   


Friday (Sirach 3) God sets a father in honor over his children; a mother’s authority he confirms over her sons. Take care of your father when he is old.   


Saturday (1 John 2) It is the last hour and the anti-Christ is coming. You have the anointing of the Holy One, and you have all knowledge.



Monday: (Matthew 10) Jesus said, “Beware of men who will hand you over to their courts and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be led before governors and kings.  


Tuesday: (John 20) Magdalene ran to Simon Peter and the Beloved Disciples to tell the news that Jesus has been removed from the tomb. In fear, they ran to see the tomb.


Wednesday (Matthew 2) When the magi departed, an angel told Joseph to take his wife and child to Egypt because Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.  


Thursday (Luke 2) When the days were completed for the purification, Mary and Joseph brought the child to the Temple, where they met Simeon, a righteous and devoted man.


Friday (Matthew 2) When Herod died, an angel told Joseph to return to Israel. “Out of Egypt have I called my son.”


Saturday (John 1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things came to be through him. A light shines in the darkness.  


Saints of the Week


December 26: Stephen, the first Martyr (d. 35), was one of the seven original deacons chose to minister to the Greek-speaking Christians. The Jews accused him of blasphemy. Though he was eloquent in his defense, Saul of Tarsus condoned his death sentence. 


December 27: John, Apostle and Evangelist (d. 100), was the brother of James and one of the three disciples to be in the inner circle. He left fishing to follow Jesus and was with him at the major events: the transfiguration, raising of Jairus' daughter, and the agony in the garden. He is also thought to be the author of the fourth gospel, three letters, and the Book of Revelation. 


December 28: The Holy Innocents (d. 2), were the boys of Bethlehem who were under two years old to be killed by King Herod in an attempt to eliminate the rise of the newborn king as foretold by the astronomers from the east. This event is similar to the rescue of Moses from the Nile by the slaughter of the infant boys by the pharaoh. 


December 29: Thomas Becket, bishop and martyr (1118-1170), was the lord chancellor and archbishop of Canterbury in England during the time of King Henry II. When he disagreed with the King over the autonomy of the church and state, he was exiled to France. When he returned, he clashed again with the king who had him murdered in Canterbury Cathedral.  


December 30: The Family of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus, was a feast instituted in 1921. It was originally the 3rd Sunday after Christmas. The Holy Family is often seen in Renaissance paintings - and many of those are of the flight into Egypt. 


December 31: Sylvester I, pope (d. 335), served the church shortly after Constantine issued his Edict of Milan in 313 that publicly recognized Christianity as the official religion of the empire and provided it freedom of worship. Large public churches were built by the emperor and other benefactors. Sylvester was alive during the Council of Nicaea but did not attend because of old age.


This Week in Jesuit History


  • December 26, 1978. The assassination of Gerhard Pieper, a librarian, who was shot to death in Zimbabwe. 
  • December 27, 1618. Henry Morse entered the English College at Rome. 
  • December 28, 1802. Pope Pius VII allowed Father General Gruber to affiliate the English Jesuits to the Society of Jesus in Russia. 
  • December 29, 1886. Publication of the beatification decree of the English martyrs. 
  • December 30, 1564. Letter from Pope Pius IV to Daniel, Archbishop of Mayence, deploring the malicious and scurrilous pamphlets published against the Society throughout Germany and desiring him to use his influence against the evil. 
  • December 31, 1640. John Francis Regis died. He was a missionary to the towns and villages of the remote mountains of southern France. 

January 1, 1598: Fr. Alphonsus Barréna, surnamed the Apostle of Peru, died. He was the first to carry the faith to the Guaranis and Chiquitos in Paraguay.

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