Sunday 31 december

by | Dec 30, 2023 | Evangelium

The Holy Family

Psalter week I

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: Genesis 15: 1-6, 21: 1-3

The word of the Lord was spoken to Abram in a vision, “Have no fear, Abram, I am your shield; your reward will be very great.”  “My Lord,” Abram replied, “what do you intend to give me? I go childless…” Then Abram said, “See, you have given me no descendants; some man of my household will be my heir.” And then this word of the Lord was spoken to him, “He shall not be your heir; your heir shall be of your own flesh and blood.” Then taking him outside he said, “Look up to heaven and count the stars if you can. Such will be your descendants,” he told him. Abram put his faith in the Lord, who counted this as making him justified. The Lord dealt kindly with Sarah as he had said, and did what he had promised. So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the time God had promised. Abraham named the son born to him Isaac, the son to whom Sarah had given birth.

Psalm 127(128):1-5

R/ O blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways!

O 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.

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine in the heart of your house; your children like shoots of the olive, around your table.

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: Heb 1: 1-2   

Alleluia, alleluia! At various times in the past and in various different ways, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our own time, the last days, he has spoken to us through his Son. Alleluia!

Gospel: Luke 2: 22-40  

When the day came for them to be purified as laid down by the Law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, – observing what stands written in the Law of the Lord: Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord – and also to offer in sacrifice, in accordance with what is said in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. Now in Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was an upright and devout man; he looked forward to Israel’s comforting and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord. Prompted by the Spirit he came to the Temple and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the Law required, he took him into his arms and blessed God; and he said: “Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace, just as you promised; because my eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared for all the nations to see, a light to enlighten the pagans and the glory of your people Israel.” As the child’s father and mother stood there wondering at the things that were being said about him, Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected – and a sword will pierce your own soul too – so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.” There was a prophetess also, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well on in years. Her days of girlhood over, she had been married for seven years before becoming a widow. She was now eighty-four years old and never left the Temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayer. She came by just at that moment and began to praise God; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem. When they had done everything the Law of the Lord required, they went back to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. Meanwhile the child grew to maturity, and he was filled with wisdom; and God’s favour was with him.

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.


Abraham, Sarah and Isaac… Joseph, Mary and Jesus… two families with wonderful destinations, great hope implanted in the heart and a solid faith! Two families that, like ours, have experienced moments of happiness and tenderness, as well as suffering and difficulties; two families animated by a strong confidence in God, in his love, in his covenant and his promise. Today, we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family and we are invited to confide our own families to the love of God. We must pray and give thanks to God for our families, for the moments of sharing and of helping each other. But we must also pray for families going through difficult moments, for divided families, for those separated from their families due to wars and crisis, for all orphans and all those who cannot experience family life and love. We have to present to God our family projects and dreams. Let us also offer to Christ, who came to join our humanity at Christmas, the life of our parish, that it may be a true family, open, hospitable, generous and dynamic, and that it may also witness to God whose presence and love lighten our New year.