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Welcome to our
Bible Study
Feast of the Holy Family A
29 December 2013
In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy
As aid in focusing our homilies and sharing
Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM
1st reading: Sirach 3,2-6.12-14


2 God sets a father in honor over his children; a
mother's authority he confirms over her sons. 3
He who honors his father atones for sins; 4 he
stores up riches who reveres his mother. 5 He
who honors his father is gladdened by children,
and when he prays he is heard. 6 He who
reveres his father will live a long life; he obeys
the LORD who brings comfort to his mother. 12
My son, take care of your father when he is old;
grieve him not as long as he lives. 13 Even if his
mind fail, be considerate with him; revile him not
in the fullness of your strength. 14 For kindness
to a father will not be forgotten, it will serve as a
sin offering-- it will take lasting root.
The focus is on honoring parents.
1st reading: Sirach 3,2-6.12-14
A simple outline!
Sayings
 2 God sets a father in honor over his children; a mother's
authority he confirms over her sons. 3 He who honors
his father atones for sins; 4 he stores up riches who
reveres his mother. 5 He who honors his father is
gladdened by children, and when he prays he is heard.
6 He who reveres his father will live a long life; he obeys
the LORD who brings comfort to his mother.
Advice
 12 My son, take care of your father when he is old;
grieve him not as long as he lives. 13 Even if his mind
fail, be considerate with him; revile him not in the fullness
of your strength.
Saying
 14 For kindness to a father will not be forgotten, it will
serve as a sin offering-- it will take lasting root.
1st reading: Sirach 3,2-6.12-14
Sayings
 2 God sets a father in honor over his
children; a mother's authority he
confirms over her sons. 3 He who
honors his father atones for sins; 4 he
stores up riches who reveres his
mother. 5 He who honors his father is
gladdened by children, and when he
prays he is heard. 6 He who reveres
his father will live a long life; he obeys
the LORD who brings comfort to his
mother.
Advice
 12 My son, take care of your father
when he is old; grieve him not as long
as he lives. 13 Even if his mind fail, be
considerate with him; revile him not in
the fullness of your strength.
Saying
 14 For kindness to a father will not be
forgotten, it will serve as a sin offering-it will take lasting root.

Commentary
 V.1 The father has the major role in
the family.
 The author believes that God has
given him authority over his children.
The authority of the mother over her
children is drawn from him.
 V.3 encourages children to honor
their fathers.
 It is an act of atonement for sins.
 In the same manner, the children who
revere their mother deposit riches.
V.4
 V.5 adds more rewards for honoring
one’s father:
 He is gladdened by children.
 His prayers are heard.
 He will have long life. V.6
 God will bring comfort to his
mother. V.6
1st reading: Sirach 3,2-6.12-14
Sayings
 2 God sets a father in honor over his
children; a mother's authority he
confirms over her sons. 3 He who
honors his father atones for sins; 4 he
stores up riches who reveres his
mother. 5 He who honors his father is
gladdened by children, and when he
prays he is heard. 6 He who reveres
his father will live a long life; he obeys
the LORD who brings comfort to his
mother.
Advice
 12 My son, take care of your father
when he is old; grieve him not as long
as he lives. 13 Even if his mind fail, be
considerate with him; revile him not in
the fullness of your strength.
Saying
 14 For kindness to a father will not be
forgotten, it will serve as a sin offering-it will take lasting root.







V.12 indicates that honoring the
father must continue up to his
old age.
The son must do the following:
 Take care of his father.
 Not to grieve him (sadden)
 Be considerate, v.13
 Not to revile him, v.13
 Be kind. v.14
V.14 says that kindness to a
father pays.
 Will not be forgotten
 Will serve as a sin offering
(see v.3 again)
Reflections on the 1 reading
st









Whether we like it or not, we, children, have to
respect our parents.
They are our immediate authority.
We have no right to insult them, even if we think
we are more learned or smart than they.
We must develop a sense of gratitude to them.
By loving them, we obtain God’s blessings and
forgiveness.
Resp. Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5


R. (cf. 1) Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his
ways.



1 Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD,
who walks in his ways!
2 For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.



3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
your children like olive plants
around your table.



4 Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
5 The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
Resp. Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5


R. (cf. 1) Blessed are those who
fear the Lord and walk in his
ways.



1 Blessed is everyone who fears the
LORD,
who walks in his ways!
2 For you shall eat the fruit of your
handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.





Commentary
 V.1 commends people who
are God-fearing.
 What happens to the Godfearing?



3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful
vine
in the recesses of your home;
your children like olive plants
around your table.
4 Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
5 The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of
Jerusalem
all the days of your life.






They will attain justice and
God’s blessing. v.2
They will enjoy the fruit of their
labors. v.2
They will have many children.
V.3
V.4 repeats v.1.

V.5 expresses a wish of
blessing and prosperity of
Jerusalem/Zion.
Reflections on the Psalm








Those who fear the Lord are highly favored by
him.
They receive a lot of blessings.
They enjoy the fruit of their labors.
God makes them prolific.
They enjoy family life.
Do you feel blessed by God?
2nd reading: Colossians 3,12-17


12 Put on as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved,
heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness,
and patience, 13 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. 14 And
over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.
15 And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the
peace into which you were also called in one body. And
be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,
as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another,
singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude
in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word
or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.
The focus is on admonitions on community life.
A simple outline!

2nd reading: Colossians 3,12-17
Needed to build community
 12 Put on as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt
compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13
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.
Love
 14 And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.
Peace
 15 And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into
which you were also called in one body. And be thankful.
Word of Christ
 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you
teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and
spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
Name of Jesus
 17 And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the
name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through
him.
2nd reading: Colossians 3,12-17
Needed to build community
 12 Put on as God's chosen ones, holy and
beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness,
humility, gentleness, and patience, 13
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.
Love
 14 And over all these put on love, that is,
the bond of perfection.
Peace
 15 And let the peace of Christ control your
hearts, the peace into which you were
also called in one body. And be thankful.
Word of Christ
 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you
richly, as in all wisdom you teach and
admonish one another, singing psalms,
hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude
in your hearts to God.
Name of Jesus
 17 And whatever you do, in word or in
deed, do everything in the name of the
Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the
Father through him.

Commentary
 The reading is well chosen for
the Feast of the Holy Family,
though it is addressed to the
Christian community of
Colossae.
 Like the 1st reading, we have a
battery of admonitions.
 But in here, it is no longer based
on the 3rd commandment (Honor
your father and your mother!) but on
Christ.
 Christ should make an impact in
their lives and make a difference.
 V.12 indicates the identity or
description of the addressees:
 God’s chosen ones
 Holy and beloved
 What is expected of them?
2nd reading: Colossians 3,12-17
Needed to build community
 12 Put on as God's chosen ones, holy and
beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness,
humility, gentleness, and patience, 13
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.
Love
 14 And over all these put on love, that is,
the bond of perfection.
Peace
 15 And let the peace of Christ control your
hearts, the peace into which you were
also called in one body. And be thankful.
Word of Christ
 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you
richly, as in all wisdom you teach and
admonish one another, singing psalms,
hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude
in your hearts to God.
Name of Jesus
 17 And whatever you do, in word or in
deed, do everything in the name of the
Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the
Father through him.

They are expected to be:
 compassionate (merciful)
 kind (considerate)
 humble (not putting oneself above
the others)
 Gentle (treating others with
delicadeza, not being rough)
 Patient (able to endure the character
of others)
 Bearing with one another
 Forgiving one another, when
there are grievances.
 Loving, v.14
 Peaceful / peaceable, v.15
 The Christians are entitled to
experience peace in the Church
(one body) and be grateful.
 Accommodating to the Word of
Christ, v.16
 Well motivated in whatever one say
and do.
 Do everything in the name of
Christ.
Reflections on the 2 reading
nd









The reading enumerates almost all the qualities, which a
Christian must possess in order to survive in the
community (in the Church).
We are all human beings with faults and failures, and so,
we have to exercise virtues.
Each member of the family and community should be
animated by love, the Word of God, and proper
motivation.
The reading teaches us how to build our families,
communities and ministries.
Without exercising Christian virtues, we can forget about
having a happy family, community and ministry.
The focus is on obedience to God.

Gospel reading: Mt 2,13-15.19-23


13 When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord
appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child
and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you.
Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him." 14
Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and
departed for Egypt. 15 He stayed there until the death of
Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might
be fulfilled, "Out of Egypt I called my son." 19 When Herod
had died, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream
to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, "Rise, take the child and his
mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the
child's life are dead." 21 He rose, took the child and his
mother, and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard
that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father
Herod, he was afraid to go back there. And because he had
been warned in a dream, he departed for the region of
Galilee. 23 He went and dwelt in a town called Nazareth, so
that what had been spoken through the prophets might be
fulfilled, "He shall be called a Nazorean."
Gospel reading: Mt 2,13-15.19-23
Setting
 13 When they (the magi)
had departed, behold, the
angel of the Lord appeared
to Joseph in a dream and
said,
Command
"Rise, take the child and his
mother, flee to Egypt, and
stay there until I tell you.
Herod is going to search for
the child to destroy him."
Execution
 14 Joseph rose and took the
child and his mother by night
and departed for Egypt. 15
He stayed there until the
death of Herod,
Fulfillment of prophecy
 that what the Lord had said
through the prophet might be
fulfilled, "Out of Egypt I called
my son."

Commentary:
 Observe a pattern in the outline:
 Setting – command – execution –
fulfillment of prophecy
 The author uses an “angel” and a
“dream” to communicate to Joseph.v.13
 In v.13, Joseph is asked to flee to
Egypt.
The reason? Herod wants to kill the
child.
 Herod is the King Herod the Great. He
ruled Israel from 37 BC to 4 BC.
 He killed whomever he suspected to
dethrone him. He is paranoid.





In v.14, Joseph obeys God right away.
He does not delay.
V.15 indicates the length of their stay in
Egypt, about 2 years, if Jesus is born in 6
BC.



The prophesy comes from Hosea 11,1.
Setting
 19 When Herod had died,
behold, the angel of the
Lord appeared in a dream
to Joseph in Egypt 20
and said,
Command
 "Rise, take the child and
his mother and go to the
land of Israel, for those
who sought the child's life
are dead."
Execution
 21 He rose, took the child
and his mother, and went
to the land of Israel.
Fulfillment of prophecy (in
v.23)












Again observe a pattern in the

outline:
 Setting – command –
execution – fulfillment of
prophecy
In v.19, the would-be killer of
Jesus, Herod, is dead.
At his death, the angel again
appears to Joseph in a dream.
In v.20, Joseph is asked to go
back.
Observe: not only Herod is dead,
but also all the rest that seek
Jesus’ life.
In v.21, Joseph immediately
goes back to Israel, where they
come from.
There is no explicit or immediate
indication of a fulfillment of a
prophecy. It is said in v.23.


Setting
 22 But when he heard
that Archelaus was
ruling over Judea in
place of his father
Herod, he was afraid
to go back there.
Command
 And because he had
been warned in a
dream,
Execution
 he departed for the
region of Galilee. 23
He went and dwelt in
a town called
Nazareth,
Fulfillment of prophecy
 so that what had been
spoken through the
prophets might be
fulfilled, "He shall be
called a Nazorean."











Again, observe a pattern in the outline:
 Setting – command – execution –
fulfillment
of prophecy
V.22 presents Archaelaus as the successor
of Herod, the Great, after his death.
Joseph is afraid to go back. Archaelaus is
like his father.
Historically, Archaelaus was removed from
office by Rome because of his misdeeds.
He did not reign long (4 BC to 6 AD).
King Herod and his successors (sons) were
puppets of Rome. (Herodian dynasty)
They are good only as far as they serve the
interests of the Roman Empire.
V.22 indicates Joseph goes to Galilee
instead.
V.23 specifies where he goes:
 To Nazareth.
V.23b also gives the reason why they should
go back to Galilee:
 To fulfill a prophesy.
Reflections on the gospel reading






Like Joseph, Mary and Jesus, our families are not
spared of trials, inconveniences and sufferings.
Inconveniences (death threats, being refugees,
disruption of normal life) are caused by the insecurity /
paranoia / lack of people’s mandate on the part of the
powers-that-be
 who want to stay in power for ever.
 who rule with no moral authority
 who misread the purpose of life and governance
Like the Holy Family, our families are also victims of
unjust structures and misinterpretations.
God will protect us as long as we listen to his words.
Tying the 3 readings and the Psalm


The first reading is about honoring parents.




The psalm assures God’s blessings and protection to
those who fear the Lord.




relationship with God through the Law

The second reading enumerates the ingredients / traits
needed for building relationships in the family and
community.




relationship with parents

relationship with one another, co-equal

The gospel reading features the obedience of Joseph to
God in the midst of strong opposition to his son, Jesus.


relationship with God through obedience
How to develop your homily / sharing






Are you happy with your family?
Do you love all the members of your family?
This Sunday, we are invited once more to take a
look at the Holy Family as the model of family
life.
It is rather a small family: father, mother and
son.
 This

has nothing to do with family planning.
 The number is God-ordained.
 The whole gospel is focused on Jesus. There is no
need to multiply characters in the gospel.







In the gospel, Joseph, the father, does
everything to protect his son. He listens to the
voice of God.
Mary, the mother, is quiet. She submits to God’s
plan. She does not resist or create trouble. She
carries the little child in her bosom as they
escape from danger.
Jesus, the child, at this time, is still quiet and
passive. Wait until he becomes 12.
Each of them lives what the first and second
readings teach.







The gospel teaches us to move according to God’s
plan to contain the external threats of our family.
In the midst of trials and difficulties brought about
by poverty, bad politics and governance, unjust
economic system and false values, we are asked
to discern (to listen to God) what we can best do in
order not to aggravate the situation (damage control).
We need to discern where the Spirit is leading us,
for the safety and well-being of our families and
humankind.
Wrong move or decision (imprudence) can lead the
family to bankruptcy, indebtedness,
demoralization, break down, disintegration and
death.
The first reading reminds the children to
honor, revere and respect their parents, up
to their old age.
 Children should not be hard on their aging
and ailing parents. Instead, they should
take care of them all the more.
 In this way, God will bless them too.
 Go back to your parents whom you have
abandoned. Don’t be ungrateful.









The second reading reminds every member of
the family and community to exercise
compassion, patience, gentleness, kindness and
love. (Giving justice where it is due.)
In other words, we must show maturity in dealing
with one another.
If there is no compassion, respect, patience,
love, we cannot build our family.
If the members are not peaceable, but hostile
and violent to one another, they have a big
problem.
Everyone needs conversion before everything
gets worse.


Nowadays, the scheme of Herod is still alive
(infanticide, abortion, abortifacients, unjust wars, etc.)





Innocent babies are being blamed for the
economic and political woes of the nations.
Drug companies, to earn more money by selling
their anti-life products (condoms, pills, IUDs, etc.)
make us, including lawmakers, believe
pregnancy is sickness, not a sign of good health.








The eucharist is a sacrament of life and
relationships.
The eucharist reminds us to be God-fearing and
respectful to other people.
We cannot receive holy communion if we are not
just, and at peace with one another.
In the eucharist, Immanuel dwells in our hearts
and give us joy and strength in our everyday
struggles.
Our Context of Sin and Grace



Broken homes
Cairo Document (one may

adopt a pig and call it a family.)










Same sex marriage
Free love
Dysfunctional families
Lost Generation, Gen X
Single parenthood
Surrogate motherhood
Contraceptives
Abortion
Genetic engineering



Pro-Life



Redefinition of what a family is



True Love Waits Movement (no sex
before marriage)











CEFAM
CFM
CFC
Natural Family Planning
Responsible parenthood
New ways of dealing with special
children
Inculcation of justice and peace in
our educational system and in the
military
Sexual integration (balance of male
and female in us)
Suggested Songs


O Tao
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXhwzDRL7bM

We are Family
 Teach
 Christmas Songs


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Holy Family A

  • 1. Welcome to our Bible Study Feast of the Holy Family A 29 December 2013 In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy As aid in focusing our homilies and sharing Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM
  • 2. 1st reading: Sirach 3,2-6.12-14  2 God sets a father in honor over his children; a mother's authority he confirms over her sons. 3 He who honors his father atones for sins; 4 he stores up riches who reveres his mother. 5 He who honors his father is gladdened by children, and when he prays he is heard. 6 He who reveres his father will live a long life; he obeys the LORD who brings comfort to his mother. 12 My son, take care of your father when he is old; grieve him not as long as he lives. 13 Even if his mind fail, be considerate with him; revile him not in the fullness of your strength. 14 For kindness to a father will not be forgotten, it will serve as a sin offering-- it will take lasting root. The focus is on honoring parents.
  • 3. 1st reading: Sirach 3,2-6.12-14 A simple outline! Sayings  2 God sets a father in honor over his children; a mother's authority he confirms over her sons. 3 He who honors his father atones for sins; 4 he stores up riches who reveres his mother. 5 He who honors his father is gladdened by children, and when he prays he is heard. 6 He who reveres his father will live a long life; he obeys the LORD who brings comfort to his mother. Advice  12 My son, take care of your father when he is old; grieve him not as long as he lives. 13 Even if his mind fail, be considerate with him; revile him not in the fullness of your strength. Saying  14 For kindness to a father will not be forgotten, it will serve as a sin offering-- it will take lasting root.
  • 4. 1st reading: Sirach 3,2-6.12-14 Sayings  2 God sets a father in honor over his children; a mother's authority he confirms over her sons. 3 He who honors his father atones for sins; 4 he stores up riches who reveres his mother. 5 He who honors his father is gladdened by children, and when he prays he is heard. 6 He who reveres his father will live a long life; he obeys the LORD who brings comfort to his mother. Advice  12 My son, take care of your father when he is old; grieve him not as long as he lives. 13 Even if his mind fail, be considerate with him; revile him not in the fullness of your strength. Saying  14 For kindness to a father will not be forgotten, it will serve as a sin offering-it will take lasting root. Commentary  V.1 The father has the major role in the family.  The author believes that God has given him authority over his children. The authority of the mother over her children is drawn from him.  V.3 encourages children to honor their fathers.  It is an act of atonement for sins.  In the same manner, the children who revere their mother deposit riches. V.4  V.5 adds more rewards for honoring one’s father:  He is gladdened by children.  His prayers are heard.  He will have long life. V.6  God will bring comfort to his mother. V.6
  • 5. 1st reading: Sirach 3,2-6.12-14 Sayings  2 God sets a father in honor over his children; a mother's authority he confirms over her sons. 3 He who honors his father atones for sins; 4 he stores up riches who reveres his mother. 5 He who honors his father is gladdened by children, and when he prays he is heard. 6 He who reveres his father will live a long life; he obeys the LORD who brings comfort to his mother. Advice  12 My son, take care of your father when he is old; grieve him not as long as he lives. 13 Even if his mind fail, be considerate with him; revile him not in the fullness of your strength. Saying  14 For kindness to a father will not be forgotten, it will serve as a sin offering-it will take lasting root.    V.12 indicates that honoring the father must continue up to his old age. The son must do the following:  Take care of his father.  Not to grieve him (sadden)  Be considerate, v.13  Not to revile him, v.13  Be kind. v.14 V.14 says that kindness to a father pays.  Will not be forgotten  Will serve as a sin offering (see v.3 again)
  • 6. Reflections on the 1 reading st      Whether we like it or not, we, children, have to respect our parents. They are our immediate authority. We have no right to insult them, even if we think we are more learned or smart than they. We must develop a sense of gratitude to them. By loving them, we obtain God’s blessings and forgiveness.
  • 7. Resp. Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5  R. (cf. 1) Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.  1 Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways! 2 For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; blessed shall you be, and favored.  3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the recesses of your home; your children like olive plants around your table.  4 Behold, thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD. 5 The LORD bless you from Zion: may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.
  • 8. Resp. Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5  R. (cf. 1) Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.  1 Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways! 2 For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; blessed shall you be, and favored.   Commentary  V.1 commends people who are God-fearing.  What happens to the Godfearing?   3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the recesses of your home; your children like olive plants around your table. 4 Behold, thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD. 5 The LORD bless you from Zion: may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.    They will attain justice and God’s blessing. v.2 They will enjoy the fruit of their labors. v.2 They will have many children. V.3 V.4 repeats v.1. V.5 expresses a wish of blessing and prosperity of Jerusalem/Zion.
  • 9. Reflections on the Psalm       Those who fear the Lord are highly favored by him. They receive a lot of blessings. They enjoy the fruit of their labors. God makes them prolific. They enjoy family life. Do you feel blessed by God?
  • 10. 2nd reading: Colossians 3,12-17  12 Put on as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 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. 14 And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. The focus is on admonitions on community life.
  • 11. A simple outline! 2nd reading: Colossians 3,12-17 Needed to build community  12 Put on as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 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. Love  14 And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. Peace  15 And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful. Word of Christ  16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. Name of Jesus  17 And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
  • 12. 2nd reading: Colossians 3,12-17 Needed to build community  12 Put on as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 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. Love  14 And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. Peace  15 And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful. Word of Christ  16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. Name of Jesus  17 And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Commentary  The reading is well chosen for the Feast of the Holy Family, though it is addressed to the Christian community of Colossae.  Like the 1st reading, we have a battery of admonitions.  But in here, it is no longer based on the 3rd commandment (Honor your father and your mother!) but on Christ.  Christ should make an impact in their lives and make a difference.  V.12 indicates the identity or description of the addressees:  God’s chosen ones  Holy and beloved  What is expected of them?
  • 13. 2nd reading: Colossians 3,12-17 Needed to build community  12 Put on as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 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. Love  14 And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. Peace  15 And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful. Word of Christ  16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. Name of Jesus  17 And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. They are expected to be:  compassionate (merciful)  kind (considerate)  humble (not putting oneself above the others)  Gentle (treating others with delicadeza, not being rough)  Patient (able to endure the character of others)  Bearing with one another  Forgiving one another, when there are grievances.  Loving, v.14  Peaceful / peaceable, v.15  The Christians are entitled to experience peace in the Church (one body) and be grateful.  Accommodating to the Word of Christ, v.16  Well motivated in whatever one say and do.  Do everything in the name of Christ.
  • 14. Reflections on the 2 reading nd      The reading enumerates almost all the qualities, which a Christian must possess in order to survive in the community (in the Church). We are all human beings with faults and failures, and so, we have to exercise virtues. Each member of the family and community should be animated by love, the Word of God, and proper motivation. The reading teaches us how to build our families, communities and ministries. Without exercising Christian virtues, we can forget about having a happy family, community and ministry.
  • 15. The focus is on obedience to God. Gospel reading: Mt 2,13-15.19-23  13 When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him." 14 Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. 15 He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, "Out of Egypt I called my son." 19 When Herod had died, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead." 21 He rose, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go back there. And because he had been warned in a dream, he departed for the region of Galilee. 23 He went and dwelt in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, "He shall be called a Nazorean."
  • 16. Gospel reading: Mt 2,13-15.19-23 Setting  13 When they (the magi) had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, Command "Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him." Execution  14 Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. 15 He stayed there until the death of Herod, Fulfillment of prophecy  that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, "Out of Egypt I called my son." Commentary:  Observe a pattern in the outline:  Setting – command – execution – fulfillment of prophecy  The author uses an “angel” and a “dream” to communicate to Joseph.v.13  In v.13, Joseph is asked to flee to Egypt. The reason? Herod wants to kill the child.  Herod is the King Herod the Great. He ruled Israel from 37 BC to 4 BC.  He killed whomever he suspected to dethrone him. He is paranoid.    In v.14, Joseph obeys God right away. He does not delay. V.15 indicates the length of their stay in Egypt, about 2 years, if Jesus is born in 6 BC.  The prophesy comes from Hosea 11,1.
  • 17. Setting  19 When Herod had died, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, Command  "Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead." Execution  21 He rose, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. Fulfillment of prophecy (in v.23)        Again observe a pattern in the outline:  Setting – command – execution – fulfillment of prophecy In v.19, the would-be killer of Jesus, Herod, is dead. At his death, the angel again appears to Joseph in a dream. In v.20, Joseph is asked to go back. Observe: not only Herod is dead, but also all the rest that seek Jesus’ life. In v.21, Joseph immediately goes back to Israel, where they come from. There is no explicit or immediate indication of a fulfillment of a prophecy. It is said in v.23.
  • 18.  Setting  22 But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go back there. Command  And because he had been warned in a dream, Execution  he departed for the region of Galilee. 23 He went and dwelt in a town called Nazareth, Fulfillment of prophecy  so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, "He shall be called a Nazorean."         Again, observe a pattern in the outline:  Setting – command – execution – fulfillment of prophecy V.22 presents Archaelaus as the successor of Herod, the Great, after his death. Joseph is afraid to go back. Archaelaus is like his father. Historically, Archaelaus was removed from office by Rome because of his misdeeds. He did not reign long (4 BC to 6 AD). King Herod and his successors (sons) were puppets of Rome. (Herodian dynasty) They are good only as far as they serve the interests of the Roman Empire. V.22 indicates Joseph goes to Galilee instead. V.23 specifies where he goes:  To Nazareth. V.23b also gives the reason why they should go back to Galilee:  To fulfill a prophesy.
  • 19. Reflections on the gospel reading     Like Joseph, Mary and Jesus, our families are not spared of trials, inconveniences and sufferings. Inconveniences (death threats, being refugees, disruption of normal life) are caused by the insecurity / paranoia / lack of people’s mandate on the part of the powers-that-be  who want to stay in power for ever.  who rule with no moral authority  who misread the purpose of life and governance Like the Holy Family, our families are also victims of unjust structures and misinterpretations. God will protect us as long as we listen to his words.
  • 20. Tying the 3 readings and the Psalm  The first reading is about honoring parents.   The psalm assures God’s blessings and protection to those who fear the Lord.   relationship with God through the Law The second reading enumerates the ingredients / traits needed for building relationships in the family and community.   relationship with parents relationship with one another, co-equal The gospel reading features the obedience of Joseph to God in the midst of strong opposition to his son, Jesus.  relationship with God through obedience
  • 21. How to develop your homily / sharing     Are you happy with your family? Do you love all the members of your family? This Sunday, we are invited once more to take a look at the Holy Family as the model of family life. It is rather a small family: father, mother and son.  This has nothing to do with family planning.  The number is God-ordained.  The whole gospel is focused on Jesus. There is no need to multiply characters in the gospel.
  • 22.     In the gospel, Joseph, the father, does everything to protect his son. He listens to the voice of God. Mary, the mother, is quiet. She submits to God’s plan. She does not resist or create trouble. She carries the little child in her bosom as they escape from danger. Jesus, the child, at this time, is still quiet and passive. Wait until he becomes 12. Each of them lives what the first and second readings teach.
  • 23.     The gospel teaches us to move according to God’s plan to contain the external threats of our family. In the midst of trials and difficulties brought about by poverty, bad politics and governance, unjust economic system and false values, we are asked to discern (to listen to God) what we can best do in order not to aggravate the situation (damage control). We need to discern where the Spirit is leading us, for the safety and well-being of our families and humankind. Wrong move or decision (imprudence) can lead the family to bankruptcy, indebtedness, demoralization, break down, disintegration and death.
  • 24. The first reading reminds the children to honor, revere and respect their parents, up to their old age.  Children should not be hard on their aging and ailing parents. Instead, they should take care of them all the more.  In this way, God will bless them too.  Go back to your parents whom you have abandoned. Don’t be ungrateful. 
  • 25.      The second reading reminds every member of the family and community to exercise compassion, patience, gentleness, kindness and love. (Giving justice where it is due.) In other words, we must show maturity in dealing with one another. If there is no compassion, respect, patience, love, we cannot build our family. If the members are not peaceable, but hostile and violent to one another, they have a big problem. Everyone needs conversion before everything gets worse.
  • 26.  Nowadays, the scheme of Herod is still alive (infanticide, abortion, abortifacients, unjust wars, etc.)   Innocent babies are being blamed for the economic and political woes of the nations. Drug companies, to earn more money by selling their anti-life products (condoms, pills, IUDs, etc.) make us, including lawmakers, believe pregnancy is sickness, not a sign of good health.
  • 27.     The eucharist is a sacrament of life and relationships. The eucharist reminds us to be God-fearing and respectful to other people. We cannot receive holy communion if we are not just, and at peace with one another. In the eucharist, Immanuel dwells in our hearts and give us joy and strength in our everyday struggles.
  • 28. Our Context of Sin and Grace   Broken homes Cairo Document (one may adopt a pig and call it a family.)          Same sex marriage Free love Dysfunctional families Lost Generation, Gen X Single parenthood Surrogate motherhood Contraceptives Abortion Genetic engineering  Pro-Life  Redefinition of what a family is  True Love Waits Movement (no sex before marriage)         CEFAM CFM CFC Natural Family Planning Responsible parenthood New ways of dealing with special children Inculcation of justice and peace in our educational system and in the military Sexual integration (balance of male and female in us)
  • 29. Suggested Songs  O Tao  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXhwzDRL7bM We are Family  Teach  Christmas Songs 