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Friday, December 30, 2016 Feast of the Holy Family

Colossians, Chapter 3, Verse 15
And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful.

Today would be a good day to rest in the Lord and go to Mass and receive His body and blood.  As we receive realize that He has given us peace with God and saved us.  Such is the love of our God, the Father!  After Mass follow the Exhortation given from the 1896 edition of Goffines Divine Instructions.

Ponder with care on the truths and doctrines which the holy Church has laid before thee in the epistles and gospels; thank God with thy whole heart for the great favors and benefits which thou hast received in the incarnation and birth of Jesus Christ; examine thyself also whether thy faith is living and efficient, that thou mayest have the hope of being a child and heir of God; ask thyself whether, during the past year, Christ has been thy fall or thy resurrection? Hast thou confessed Him in heart and deed, or hast thou been a Christian only in name? With such exercises and examinations occupy thy mind until the New Year, that thou mayest be prepared to begin it worthily.

Feast of the Holy Family[1]

Given the build-up of Christmas it might seem strange that the feast of the holy family is celebrated so late when the holy family has just been formed by the birth of the son? The surprising answer is that the family had not been formed by this event. According to the Mosaic Law, a Hebrew boy was not part of the family until he was circumcised eight days after his birth; only then was he given his name, i.e., his identity as an individual and as a son of Abraham. It is appropriate, therefore, that any celebration of the holy family takes place after the celebration of the circumcision and the holy name. But there is a deeper reason as well. Paradoxically, it is only after we have contemplated the various revelations of the Light to both Jew and Gentile that we can appreciate the period of Jesus' life that is shrouded in obscurity. It is because we now know who the boy Jesus truly is that we can understand the importance of His family and the excellence of His so-called hidden life. Like the shepherds of Bethlehem, we now recognize Him as the Messiah for whom the Jews yearned; like the Magi, whose gifts bespoke their convictions, we now recognize Him as a King worthy of gold, as God worthy of frankincense, and as the Suffering Servant to be one day buried with myrrh. And like the Blessed Virgin, who -- as we learn from the Gospel on this feast-- kept all these things in her heart, we are now in a position to appreciate the unique role of His Holy Family in the economy of our salvation. The Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph holds up the domestic life of Jesus, his mother, and foster father as the perfect model for all Catholic households. As Pope Leo XIII explains, there is a lesson in this family for everyone: for fathers, for mothers, for children; for nobility (the Holy Family was from the royal house of David), for the poor (they gave up their possessions in fleeing to Egypt), and so on. There are no prescribed or uniform customs for the feast, but that does not mean no observances were made. The following is an account from Father Weiser of Holy Family Sundays at our own parish, Holy Trinity German Church, in the 1940s.

The annual Holy Childhood procession, on the feast of the Holy Family, is one of the most attractive ceremonies. In former years this procession was called the "Shepherds' Procession" as the children marched through the church dressed as shepherds and shepherdesses -- a lovely relic of popular medieval piety (Holy Trinity Parish, 1844-1944, p. 37).

This feast is also an ideal time to pray any of the devotions to the Holy Family that are given in the Raccolta, the Church's old official list of indulgences. The fact that many of these prayers are no longer indulgenced does not make them any less meaningful or worthy of use.

 Let us reflect that the Holy family was holy because of how they interacted with each other and the world.  A good practice during the twelve nights of Christmas would be to turn off the TV and to rest and have joyful prayer with the family.  It is good to remember that Christ’s primary teachers in the faith were Joseph and Mary.  We also should remember to not rely on schools to bring up our children in devotion to the Lord and that we are the primary teachers of Faith, Hope and Love in our families.

Things to Do[2]


·         Let us imitate the Holy Family in our Christian families, and our family will be a cell and a prefiguration of the heavenly family. Say a prayer dedicating your family to the Holy Family. Also pray for all families and for our country to uphold the sanctity of the marriage bond which is under attack.
·         Read more about Pope Leo XIII who instituted the Feast of the Holy Family and read his encyclical On Christian Marriage. You can also check out the Vatican's page of Papal documents on the Family.
·         Read the explanation of Jesus' knowledge in the activities section. Read Pope Pius X's Syllabus of Errors which condemns the modernist assertion that Christ did not always possess the consciousness of His Messianic dignity.
·         Have the whole family participate in cooking dinner. You might try a Lebanese meal. Some suggestions: stuffed grape leaves, stuffed cabbage rolls, lentils and rice, spinach and meat pies, chicken and dumplings, hummus, Lebanese bread, tabbouleh — a Lebanese salad and kibbi, a traditional Lebanese dish of specially ground meat mixed with spices and cracked wheat. This is the same kind of food that Mary served Jesus and St. Joseph. It's healthy and delicious.

Cup of Wisdom

For Christmas my wonderful wife brought me three coffee mugs on being 1) a man of courage 2) a man of strength and 3) a man of wisdom. To be a person of wisdom there is no better model for us than that of the Holy Family. Here is what is on the wisdom mug my wife gave me: Blessed is the man who uses knowledge and experience to improve the well-being of others who guides with respect, and encourages with love. “Make me to know your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths.” (Psalm 25: 4)

Sixth Day of Christmas-Six Geese a-Laying = The six days of creation[3]
1st Day: Creation of light and its separation from darkness
2nd Day: Creation of the firmament and division of the waters
3rd Day: Collection of waters (sea) and formation of dry land (earth); creation of plants according to their own likeness
4th Day: Creation of heavenly bodies in the firmament (sun, moon, and stars)
5th Day: Creation of sea creatures and winged fowl from the waters
6th Day: Creation of cattle, creeping things, and beasts from the dry land; creation of mankind, male and female





[2]http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2016-12-30

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