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Sunday, December 28, 2003

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Holy Family

Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14
Colossians 3:12-21
Psalm 128
Luke 2:41-52

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being holy even in an unholy family

"Jesus, for His part, progressed steadily in wisdom and age and grace before God and man." —Luke 2:52

The Christmas season is a time for us to grow in holiness. Family life is a prime place for growing in holiness. Thus, on the first Sunday of Christmas, we celebrate the holy family: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

Because family life is so important in God's plan for holiness, it is a battleground. Satan tries to rob us of the graces of holiness by trying to make family life very difficult. How many parents have sorrowfully asked their children: "Why have you done this to us?" (Lk 2:48) Often our greatest hurts are inflicted on us from the members of our families.

How can the family be a school of holiness even when relationships are strained, and hearts broken? Family members must "forgive whatever grievances [they] have against one another" (Col 3:13). Forgiveness changes a bad situation into a place of love and mercy because the family that forgives one another can pray together (Mk 11:25) and thereby can stay together. The Lord will work together all things for the good — even bad things (see Rm 8:28) — for married couples who pray together themselves and then lead their families in prayer. Even the worst families can be places of holiness for those who accept the miracle of forgiveness so as to pray for other miracles, especially the miracle of holiness. Be a forgiving, praying, holy family.

Prayer:  Father, may holy families make the Church holy and prepare us for Your Son's final coming.

Promise:  "Because you are God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with heartfelt mercy, with kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another; forgive whatever grievances you have against one another." —Col 3:12-13

Praise:  Praise Jesus, holy and risen Lord! "Give to the Lord, you families of nations, give to the Lord glory and praise; give to the Lord the glory due His name!" (Ps 96:8)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert A. Stricker, June 23, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 2003