The Feast of the Holy Family, Responsorial: Psalm 105:1-6, 8-9
Responsorial: He, the Lord, is our God. He remembers his covenant for ever.
Give thanks to the Lord, tell his name, make known his deeds among the peoples.
O sing to him, sing his praise; tell all his wonderful works!
Be proud of his holy name, let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice.
Consider the Lord and his strength; constantly seek his face.
Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, the judgements he spoke.
O children of Abraham, his servant, O sons of the Jacob he chose.
He remembers his covenant for ever, his promise for a thousand generations,
the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac.
The Feast of the Holy Family, Second Reading:
Extracted from the Sermon: Hebrews 11:8,11-12,17-19
It was by faith that Abraham obeyed the call to set out for a country that was the inheritance given to him and his descendants, and that he set out without knowing where he was going.
It was equally by faith that Sarah, in spite of being past the age, was made able to conceive, because she believed that he who had made the promise would be faithful to it.
Because of this, there came from one man, and one who was already as good as dead himself, more descendants than could be counted, as many as the stars of heaven or the grains of sand on the seashore.
It was by faith that Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac.
He offered to sacrifice his only son even though the promises had been made to him and he had been told: It is through Isaac that your name will be carried on.
He was confident that God had the power even to raise the dead; and so, figuratively speaking, he was given back Isaac from the dead.
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.
The Feast of the Holy Family, Gospel Reading:
Extracted from the holy Gospel according to 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.
It was the Feast of the Holy Family on 28 December 2014.
The Readings that were read in the Eucharistic Celebrations all over the world on the same day are shown in the previous page & above (unless otherwise stated):
First Reading: Ecclesiasticus 3:3-7, 14-17 (Encouragements-348) or Genesis 15:1-6, 21:1-3,
Responsorial: Psalm 128:1-5 (Encouragements-348) or Hebrews 11:8, 11-12, 17-19,
Second Reading: Colossians 3:12-21 (Encouragements-348) or Hebrews 11:8,11-12,17-19 &
Gospel Reading: Luke 2:22-40.
We have extracted the Homilies of Blessed Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I based on the aforesaid Readings to share with you, so that you could similarly be encouraged:
JOHN PAUL II
ANGELUS - FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY
Sunday, 29 December 1996
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. On this first Sunday after Christmas, the Church is celebrating the Feast of the Holy Family.
As at the crib, in a glance of faith we embrace together the divine Child and the persons beside him: his most holy Mother and Joseph, his putative father. What light shines from this Christmas “group icon”! A light of mercy and salvation for the whole world, a light of truth for every person, for the human family and for individual families. How lovely it is for spouses to be reflected in the Virgin Mary and her husband Joseph! How comforting for parents, especially if they have a small baby! How enlightening for engaged couples, struggling with their plans for life!
To gather round the Bethlehem grotto contemplating there the Holy Family, enables us to appreciate the gift of family intimacy in a special way, and spurs us to offer human warmth and concrete solidarity in those unfortunately numerous situations which, for various reasons, lack peace, harmony, in a word, lack “family”.
2. The message that comes from the Holy Family is first of all a message of faith: the family of Nazareth is a home which truly centres on God. For Mary and Joseph, this choice of faith becomes concrete in their service to the Son of God entrusted to their care, but it is also expressed in their mutual love, rich in spiritual tenderness and fidelity.
With their life, they teach that marriage is a covenant between man and woman, a covenant that involves reciprocal fidelity and rests upon their common trust in God. Such a noble, profound and definitive covenant, as to constitute for believers the sacrament of love of Christ and of the Church. The spouses’ fidelity stands like a solid rock on which the children’s trust rests.
When parents and children together breathe this atmosphere of faith they have a ready energy that enables them to face even difficult trials, as the Holy Family’s experience shows.
3. It is necessary to nourish this atmosphere of faith. In this perspective preparations are being made for the Second World Meeting with Families which is to take place in Rio de Janeiro on 4-5 October 1997. It will be a great celebration of the families of Latin America and of the entire world, which will renew the message launched at the first meeting that took place in Rome on the occasion of the International Year of the Family.
I commend to Mary “Queen of the family” all the world’s families, especial- ly those that are encountering serious difficulties, and I invoke her motherly protection upon them.
After praying the Angelus the Holy Father said:
The year 1996, which is about to end, marks the fourth centenary of the presence of the Popes here in Castel Gandolfo, a place which grew into a town when it became the papal residence. I am therefore pleased on this occasion to renew to you, dear inhabitants of Castel Gandolfo, my gratitude for the welcome you always reserve for the Pope and to offer you my special wishes for peace and prosperity.
After greeting the Italian pilgrims, the Holy Father concluded:
I give everyone my best wishes for the New Year: may it be illumined by the presence of Christ the Saviour, a source of peace and authentic renewal of life. Today you can hear the wind better than you can hear the Pope. The world is cold, in Italy it is colder than in the North. I wish you the courage to face this cold and to warm yourselves.
Praised be Jesus Christ!
1 February 2015