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Sunday, December 30, 2012

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Holy Family

1 Samuel 1:20-22, 24-28
1 John 3:1-2, 21-24
Psalm 84:2-3, 5-6, 9-10
Luke 2:41-52

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family ecology

Jesus "was submissive to them. His mother meanwhile kept all these things in memory. Jesus, for His part, progressed steadily in wisdom and age and grace before God and men." —Luke 2:51-52, our transl.

In the Christmas season, the Lord graces us to grow in love for Him even more deeply than at most other times of the year. We will receive this new and deeper love at Mass, through God's Word, by witnessing for Jesus, by forgiving our enemies, and in many other ways. In trying to deepen our love for the members of our family, we will also grow in our love for the Lord.

The way to love your family more deeply is to be yourself, that is, to fulfill your God-given role in the family. Because God created families to be ecological, the various roles and dynamics of family life are intricately interrelated. For example, a single parent shouldn't try to be a "double-parent." Parents shouldn't try to be a peer to their children. While all people are called to be submissive on many occasions, wives are to be the main models of submission (see Eph 5:22). Otherwise, most people will not be submissive and will misunderstand submission, as is the case in the Western world today. Fathers are to take the greatest responsibility in making their children disciples of Christ. There are, of course, many other examples.

The Lord expects us only to be ourselves and to do our best. He will provide what is missing in the family. In being ourselves and doing our best in family life, we will know the depth of Christ's love in a new way this Christmas season (Eph 3:18). Try to be a holy family. Know a new love for Jesus.

Prayer:  Father, teach me the ecology of family life and love.

Promise:  "See what love the Father has bestowed on us in letting us be called children of God." —1 Jn 3:1

Praise:  Praise Jesus, holy and risen Lord! "Give to the Lord, you families of nations, give to the Lord glory and praise; give to the Lord the glory due His name!" (Ps 96:8)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 27, 2012

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