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Friday, December 30, 2011

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Holy Family

Genesis 15:1-6; 21:1-3
Hebrews 11:8, 11-12, 17-19
Psalm 105:1-4, 6-9
Luke 2:22-40

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the pain and promise of family

"The Child's father and mother were marveling at what was being said about Him." —Luke 2:33

Many people idealize the Holy Family. Because Jesus is God, Mary is immaculate, and Joseph is holy, their family relationships must have been almost perfect. However, that's not the picture the Bible gives us of the Holy Family. The only scene from Jesus' childhood that we are told about is when Mary and Joseph lost Jesus for three days. You can imagine the peasant couple frantically searching for their twelve-year-old Boy in the metropolis of Jerusalem. When they finally found Him in the Temple, they asked: "Son, why have You done this to us? You see that Your father and I have been searching for You in sorrow" (Lk 2:48). You can almost hear the pain and bewilderment in Mary's voice.

Most people can relate to this trauma more easily than to the holiness of the Holy Family. Many of us are likewise searching for members of our families. We're searching for lost loved ones and for lost love. In sorrow and in pain, we search for acceptance, respect, encouragement, or hope. We can understand the pain of a three-day separation or even of three days in the tomb.

God's Word to us on this Holy Family Sunday promises us that our searching and sorrowing will end when we find Jesus. Then we will find love and peace for us and our families.

Prayer:  Father, by Your grace I decide to forgive everyone, especially my family members, as You have forgiven me (Col 3:13).

Promise:  "This Child is destined to be the downfall and the rise of many." —Lk 2:34

Praise:  Praise to You, risen Lord Jesus! You sanctified families by living for thirty years in The Holy Family. "Give to the Lord, you families...give to the Lord glory and praise" (Ps 96:7-8).

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet How to Get Your Kids to Go to Church and Go to Heaven or our tape on audio AV 42-3 or video V-42.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 27, 2011

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