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December 31, 2017

Feast of the Holy Family

Lk 2:22-40

When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.

Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”

And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had finished everything required by 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.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

A Meditation on Bartolomé Esteban Murillo’s The Holy Family with Little Bird

This image on which this reflection is based can be found here.

It is years past the first Christmas with its cold cave,
Straw beds, sleepy shepherds and barnyard beasts.
Here is warmth, soft blankets and animal friends.

Time to play, time to rest, together for a time.
The pleasure of leisure watching God grow up.
A holy family is love made real.

His hammer silent, a father protects, delights in his son.
A spinning woman smiles, stops her daily duties
Of mothering, no smothering here.

We see what we can almost hear –
A savior who smiles and squeals with delight,
Teasing, taunting, prey held high.

His playmate rapt at attention,
Begging for a bit of bird.
All eyes on the boy’s mischievous fun.

Something slumbering inside me awakens.
Year after year I return to this family
To teach me what I forget to remember.

Life is more than work.
Love is not a burden to be borne.
Simple joys in simple living simply strips away the years.

Holy, holy, holy family.
No halos, no angel choirs, no heavenly lights.
The extraordinary ordinary of the holy.

—Fr. J. Michael Sparough, SJ, is a retreat master, writer, and spiritual director at the Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, IL. His weekly video reflections can be seen at heartoheart.org

Prayer

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, pray for us!

—Traditional prayer

 

Please share the Good Word with your friends!

St. Ignatius’s First Principle and Foundation says “The goal of our life is to live with God forever. God, who loves us, gave us life. Our own response of love allows God's life to flow into us without limit.” One of the ways in which we respond to the love God has given us is through prayer, not only personal prayer but community prayer as well. The Pastoral Ministry Center invites members of our Strake Jesuit Community to share their prayers with us: their concerns, joys, thanksgivings, so that we may walk with them in all these times of their lives.





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December 31, 2017

Feast of the Holy Family

Lk 2:22-40

When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.

Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”

And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had finished everything required by 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.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

A Meditation on Bartolomé Esteban Murillo’s The Holy Family with Little Bird

This image on which this reflection is based can be found here.

It is years past the first Christmas with its cold cave,
Straw beds, sleepy shepherds and barnyard beasts.
Here is warmth, soft blankets and animal friends.

Time to play, time to rest, together for a time.
The pleasure of leisure watching God grow up.
A holy family is love made real.

His hammer silent, a father protects, delights in his son.
A spinning woman smiles, stops her daily duties
Of mothering, no smothering here.

We see what we can almost hear –
A savior who smiles and squeals with delight,
Teasing, taunting, prey held high.

His playmate rapt at attention,
Begging for a bit of bird.
All eyes on the boy’s mischievous fun.

Something slumbering inside me awakens.
Year after year I return to this family
To teach me what I forget to remember.

Life is more than work.
Love is not a burden to be borne.
Simple joys in simple living simply strips away the years.

Holy, holy, holy family.
No halos, no angel choirs, no heavenly lights.
The extraordinary ordinary of the holy.

—Fr. J. Michael Sparough, SJ, is a retreat master, writer, and spiritual director at the Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, IL. His weekly video reflections can be seen at heartoheart.org

Prayer

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, pray for us!

—Traditional prayer

 

Please share the Good Word with your friends!