Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 72 The Good Zeal of Monks
Mass: Qo 3:2-6, 12-14; Resp Ps 128 or 1 S 1:20-22, 24-28; Resp Ps 84; Col 3:12-21 or 1 Jn 3:1-2, 21-24; Lk 2:41-52

Blessed are they who dwell in your house, O Lord.

A friend of mine, monk and priest, now deceased, told me there were two things he told couples preparing for marriage: first, pray together; second, don't go to bed angry with one another. In other words, 'make peace before the sun goes down,' as St Benedict writes in the Holy Rule. Something else that comes to mind is the slogan, 'The family that prays together, stays together.' Prayer is powerful. The Word is clear about that on this Feast of the Holy Family. Children are to pray for and revere their parents. When a son prays, 'he is heard; he stores up riches who reveres his mother'. Furthermore, 'Whoever honors his father is gladdened by children, and, and when he prays, is heard.' Parents are to pray for their children. Dear Hannah prayed for Samuel, 'and the Lord granted her request.' Hannah then gave Samuel to the Lord: 'as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the Lord.' The psalmist sings: 'O Lord of hosts, hear our prayer'! St Paul writes: sing 'psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.' Sometimes we may wonder if our prayer is doing any good. Nevertheless, we must keep at. By way of example, I pray every day for my family and all those I know who are connected to them in one way or the other. Along with one sister, I pray for the women in her two book clubs. Just last night, my sister told me that one of the women, baptized into and raised in the faith, one of the few I've met, recently joined RCIA. She wants to re-commit herself to the faith. May God be praised! I have to trust that my prayer helped, in whatever small way. Prayer binds us as the Body of Christ, human family, nuclear family, broken families, community, parish, friends. We have to keep praying for one another, dear friends. Remember that there is no right and wrong way to pray. St Paul tell us: 'the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God's will' (Rm 8:26-27). Right now please join me in praying for my grandniece, Crosley Jayne, in ICU, and her parents, grandparents, and all those who love her. I recently received word that Miss Crosley has been baptized and received the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. We must trust and believe. Keep praying and loving one another.

(1 Th 5:17)

(1 Jn 3:23)

May Jesus, Mary and Joseph bless and protect all families around the world, so that love, joy and peace may reign within them.
(Pope Francis, Twitter, December 30, 2018)

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