“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be.” (JN 1: 1-3)
Our Lord is at the beginning of everything: of this world, of my parents, of my life and of the lives of my brothers, sisters, spouses and children. We adore Him, we love Him, we learn from Him and we put Him in the first place of our hearts, our homes, our relationship, and our mission. We are His children. How good to know and remember!
“The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us. To those who accepted him he gave power to become the children of God.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.” (LK 2: 39-40)
Our towns and our homes are also places to “grow and become strong”, to learn about wisdom and how to please God. Marriage and family is a natural environment within which to grow and become strong in love and living for others as a gift of self.
“A holy day has dawned upon us. Come, you nations, and adore the Lord. Today a great light has come upon the earth.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.” (COL 3: 12-14)
Today is our Feast; today we celebrate the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Today we enjoy our vocation and the amazing honor to share the same name with Our Lady and Joseph: we are married couples—like them, we are parents—like them, we love Jesus—like them, and we want to learn everything about love, marriage, and family – from them. Today we ask them to be our coaches and leaders, our protectors and supporters, to accept us in their home as constant students.
“Let the peace of Christ control your hearts; let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi.” (MT 2: 16)
Again in this amazing, so joyful, and good time, we need to reflect on human nature and how far we can hate. This is a very good motivation for us to remember that we can change this world only when we love each other, when we protect our relationship, and when we share with others how important is marriage and family for protecting this society. Our love, connected with Our Lord’s love, brings peace to this world.
“We praise you, O God, we acclaim you as Lord; the white-robed army of martyrs praise you.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands concerns the Word of life — for the life was made visible;” (1 JN, 1: 1-2)
Not only “the life was made visible,” but also love, truth, and the way to Heaven. Our God became a human being, became part of us, living within us. Every day, from this moment, is different—God is with us forever, and we know who we are and where we are going.
“We praise you, O God, we acclaim you as Lord; the glorious company of Apostles praise you.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved.” (MT 10: 21-22)
It looks like somebody in the Vatican, who was responsible for planning readings and feasts, forgot that we have Christmas when we are united with our families, when we can see our siblings and parents, and when we can enjoy time together. Instead of making our idealistic vision for family life, we need to remember that Our Lord died for us and Christmas leads us not only to Good Friday, but also to Easter. We remember that we can meet difficulties, we can experience rejection and misunderstanding, but “whoever endures to the end will be saved”; it is good to consider that even our relatives have their limits, and when we are together, it is better to look for what unites us than dwell on what divides us.
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD: the LORD is God and has given us light.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds.” (LK 2: 16-18)
We don’t like to live in haste. How many of our mornings or meetings, our going to work, or going with children to different activities are in haste? But, there is one exception—to “find Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger”- because this is kairos, not chronos; this is looking for a solution, not a problem; this is looking for being, not having; for mercy not justice; for ethical, not technical answers; looking for person, not an object. And this is a civilization of love and life.
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (LK 1: 78-79)
We are loved, we were loved, and we will be loved because we are God’s children. He wants “to guide our feet into the way of peace.” He is coming this night “in the tender compassion” “to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.” He is coming as a newborn child, to make our relationship easier and bring the “splendor of eternal light” into our hearts.
“O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Lo, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me; and suddenly there will come to the temple the LORD whom you seek, and the messenger of the covenant whom you desire.” (MAL 3: 1)
Our Lord always is behind the scenes—He always prepares, He always supports, and even when He expects us to do something, His grace and support are always with us. He makes our meeting and relationship possible; He comes down, knowing how much we need His support.
“O King of all nations and keystone of the Church; come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!” (Gospel Acclamation)
“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’ When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.” (MT 1: 22-24)
Again we have another example of being obedient—St. Joseph. He could have had his excuses; he could have had his conditions. But instead of disregarding God’s will, he “did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him.” This is why we need to be close to him, to be in a very strong relationship with him, to learn from him how to listen, to learn how to “fulfill what the Lord” plans.
“The virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel.” (Gospel Acclamation)