Sunday 29 December 2019
THE HOLY FAMILY OF JESUS, MARY and JOSEPH: Feast
St Thomas Becket (1118 – 1170)
Entrance Antiphon: Lk 2: 16
The shepherds went in haste, and found Mary and Joseph and the Infant lying in a manger.
O God, who were pleased to give us the shining example of the Holy Family, graciously grant that we may imitate them in practising the virtues of family life and in the bonds of charity, and so, in the joy of your house, delight one day in eternal rewards. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Ecclesiasticus 3:3-7, 14-17
The Lord honours the father in his children, and upholds the rights of a mother over her sons. Whoever respects his father is atoning for his sins, he who honours his mother is like someone amassing a fortune. Whoever respects his father will be happy with children of his own, he shall be heard on the day when he prays. Long life comes to him who honours his father, he who sets his mother at ease is showing obedience to the Lord. My son, support your father in his old age, do not grieve him during his life. Even if his mind should fail, show him sympathy, do not despise him in your health and strength; for kindness to a father shall not be forgotten but will serve as reparation for your sins.
Psalm 127 (128):1-5
R/ O blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways!
1) blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways! By the labour of your hands you shall eat. You will be happy and prosper.
2) Your wife will be like a fruitful vine in the heart of your house; your children like shoots of the olive, around your table.
3) Indeed thus shall be blessed the man who fears the Lord. May the Lord bless you from Zion all the days of your life!
Second reading: Colossians 3:12-21
You are God’s chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together as parts of one body. Always be thankful. Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God; and never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Wives, give way to your husbands, as you should in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and treat them with gentleness. Children, be obedient to your parents always, because that is what will please the Lord. Parents, never drive your children to resentment or you will make them feel frustrated.
Gospel Acclamation: Col 3:15, 16
Alleluia, alleluia! May the peace of Christ reign in your hearts; let the message of Christ find a home with you. Alleluia!
Gospel: Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23
After the wise men had left, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother with you, and escape into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, because Herod intends to search for the child and do away with him.’ So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, left that night for Egypt, where he stayed until Herod was dead. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: I called my son out of Egypt After Herod’s death, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother with you and go back to the land of Israel, for those who wanted to kill the child are dead.’ So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, went back to the land of Israel. But when he learnt that Archelaus had succeeded his father Herod as ruler of Judaea he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he left for the region of Galilee. There he settled in a town called Nazareth. In this way the words spoken through the prophets were to be fulfilled: ‘He will be called a Nazarene.’
Prayer over the Offerings
We offer you, Lord, the sacrifice of conciliation, humbly asking that, through the intercession of the Virgin Mother of God and Saint Joseph, you may establish our families firmly in your grace and your peace. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Bar 3: 38
Our God has appeared on the earth, and lived among us.
Prayer after Communion
Bring those you refresh with this heavenly Sacrament, most merciful Father, to imitate constantly the example of the Holy Family, so that, after the trials of this world, we may share their company for ever. Through Christ our Lord.
The prophet Hosea (11:1) speaks of a child who comes out of Egypt and is a son of God. This prediction finds fulfillment in Jesus Christ, whose parents, as we hear in the Gospel, take him to Egypt to shield him from Herod’s murderous anger. He is brought back to the land of Israel when Herod dies. But then Herod is succeeded by his son, Archelaus, who is even crueler than his father. Joseph, the model of a father, is again instructed to take Mary his wife and their son Jesus to the tiny and insignificant village of Nazareth. We pray for fathers of families who, like Saint Joseph, strive to protect their families from the cruelty of temporal rulers. Saint Joseph, foster father of Jesus, may you help the fathers of our families to protect their own families with the same resolve as you protected your holy family of Nazareth. Amen.