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FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY OF JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH

Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14


For the Lord honors a father above his children,

and he confirms a mother’s right over her children.

Those who honor their father atone for sins,

and those who respect their mother are like those who lay up treasure.

Those who honor their father will have joy in their own children,

and when they pray they will be heard.

Those who respect their father will have long life,

and those who honor their mother obey the Lord;

My child, help your father in his old age,

and do not grieve him as long as he lives;

even if his mind fails, be patient with him;

because you have all your faculties do not despise him.

For kindness to a father will not be forgotten,

and will be credited to you against your sins.

Psalm 128: 1-5

Happy is everyone who fears the Lord,

who walks in his ways.

You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;

you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.


Your wife will be like a fruitful vine

within your house;

your children will be like olive shoots

around your table.

Thus shall the man be blessed

who fears the Lord.


The Lord bless you from Zion.

May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem

all the days of your life.

Matthew 2:13-15


Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, “Out of Egypt I have called my son.”


When Herod died, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who were seeking the child’s life are dead.” Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And after being warned in a dream, he went away to the district of Galilee. There he made his home in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, “He will be called a Nazorean.”

(NRSVCE)



Meditation

In today’s readings we see the role of fathers as ordained by God. Fathers are anointed to protect and provide for their families. They are responsible for the welfare and provision of their loved ones and, in doing so, are worthy of great honor. St. Joseph illustrates this well by how he leaned on the Lord to guide him and how he then led Mary and Jesus to safety multiple times. St. Joseph’s valor and docility to the Spirit is admirable.


Often times our relationships with our earthly fathers shape our vision of God as father, and we may struggle to see Him as good and loving. Sadly, not every father lives properly into this vocation. Too many of us have fathers who do not protect and provide, but rather afflict their families. God never calls us to comply with abuse, but even in refusing to accept abuse, we honor fathers by giving them the opportunity to repent. We can look to examples like St. Joseph to see the reflection of our loving and protective Father in heaven. Today, we have the image of the Holy Family to reframe our understanding of family, and heal our painful experiences.

Today, meditate on the Holy Family and ask the Holy Spirit to heal you from past wounds and help you live into the vocation set for you in your family.

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