A Joy for the Whole Family

I will pray for the sanctity of the family
by Father Jason Smith, LC | Source: Catholic.net
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Luke 2:41-52


Introductory Prayer:
Lord, I believe in you. I place myself before you. Thank you for the gift of faith. How can I ever repay you for it? Jesus, I hope in you. May your presence today keep my will set on glorifying you. Lord, I love you and I long for my heart to be filled with your love.

Petition:
Lord Jesus Christ, help me to value and promote the sanctity of the family.

1. The Holy Family:
Today we celebrate the solemn memorial of the Holy Family: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. A family blossoms with the birth of a child. Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem marks the beginning of the blossoming of the Holy Family. In today’s Gospel, with Mary and Joseph to guide him, the Son of God grew and was educated. “He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them.” It is a model for every family: love, care, education, obedience. Am I grateful to my parents for my upbringing, and do I seek to express this gratitude in concrete ways? Do I fully grasp the essential elements of family life and try to promote them the best I can?

2. Parenting Is Never Easy:
Mary and Joseph were attentive to Jesus’ every step. But no parent is perfect — there are times when the child can slip away. Here we see them racing back to Jerusalem in search of Jesus, as well as their delight at finding him once again. Mary and Joseph experienced the same emotions every parent does while raising a child: moments of anxiety and joy. Do I patiently embrace the moments of anxiety in my family life? Do I strive to spread joy to all the members of my family?

3. The Obedience of Jesus:
Every child needs the authority and direction of parents. Number 532 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “Jesus' obedience to his mother and legal father fulfills the fourth commandment perfectly and was the temporal image of his filial obedience to his Father in heaven. The everyday obedience of Jesus to Joseph and Mary both announced and anticipated the obedience of Holy Thursday: ‘Not my will. . .’ The obedience of Christ in the daily routine of his hidden life was already inaugurating his work of restoring what the disobedience of Adam had destroyed.” Do I appreciate the important role of obedience in my life, and am I seeking carefully to instill it in my children? Within the family of the Church do I have a filial attitude towards the Holy Father? Do I know, understand and support his teachings and guidelines?

Conversation with Christ:
Lord, help me to keep my mind on the things above.
How little I reflect on the Incarnation, even during
the Christmas season! Help me to be ever more
mindful that you dwell in my heart. Let me radiate
your presence today in my own family. Let them
see your goodness reflected in my words and actions.

Resolution:
Today, I will pray for the sanctity of the family.



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