Merry Christmas everyone!
This tender Sunday following Christmas Day is celebrated as the Feast of the Holy Family. The Gospel stories of this day, taken from the Infancy Narratives in the first chapters of the Gospels of Saint Matthew and Saint Luke, tell tales of the less than tender events that are far from silent and holy nights of which we sang just a few days ago. Yet, even in the chaos of the flight to Egypt in the shadow of the slaughter of the Holy Innocents, the Presentation of the infant Jesus in the temple with the chilling words of Simeon, and the search for the child Jesus in the Temple, it is clear that God guided this Holy Family in love and safety that the Paschal Mystery would come to its fulfillment!
So too, amidst the chaos and uncertainty of our lives, God compels us forward in faith, hope and love on this journey that will lead us to our heavenly homecoming! We pray for one another and ourselves:
As your sons and daughters, O loving God, we come before you in thanksgiving, called and united by your eternal Word. Teach us to ponder the mystery of Nazareth, that we may always find in you the source of strength and the unity of our families.
As Saint Paul reminds us this day, and as a prayer of blessing for us all, put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. May we bear with one another lovingly and be forgiving of one another!
Whatever we do, may we do it in the name of the Lord Jesus!