The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

December 30, 2016
The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
Lectionary: 17
When a Sunday does not occur between December 25 and January 1, this feast is
celebrated on December 30 with only one reading before the Gospel.

A Reading for the Gospel according to Matthew
Mt 2:13-15, 19-23
When the magi 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.”
Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night
and departed for Egypt.
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.

When Herod had died, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream
to Joseph in Egypt 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.”
He rose, took the child and his mother,
and went to the land of Israel.
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.
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.

Salesian Sunday Reflection
Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
Today is the Feast of the Holy Family. In the Gospel we see how Divine Providence guided the Holy Family as it endured its trials. St. Francis de Sales notes:

In today’s Gospel the angel commanded Joseph to take the Child and His mother, and go into the land of Egypt. Like the Holy Family, we must go into a world where we find ourselves in the midst of enemies. As a result, we can become disquieted if events don’t go according to our wishes. To avoid the shipwrecks that are so common in sailing the waters of this world, let us consider the great peace and serenity of mind that the Holy Family had. With holy confidence in Divine Providence, they remained calm and peaceful amid the unexpected events that befell them. God will protect us too in the sea of life when everything may be in confusion not only around us, but within us as well.

However, no matter what course the ship may take, our heart, our spirit, our will, which is our compass, must tend toward God’s love and peace, for God’s place of peace is in the restful heart. When a lake is very calm on a very serene night, the stars in the sky are reflected in the lake. If we look down into the tranquil lake, we see that the beauty of the heavens is as clearly visible as when we look up at the night sky. Likewise, when our soul is perfectly calm and untroubled by the winds of superfluous cares, unevenness of spirit, and uncertainty, it is very capable of reflecting in itself the image of our Lord.

The Holy Family teaches us how we ought to embark on the sea of Divine Providence. Trusting in God’s providential goodness, let us not be surprised or troubled when we meet with similar problems to those encountered by the Holy Family. Try to do well today without thinking of the next day. If you fall short in some way, do not be disheartened. Our Savior’s heart is large, and wants our heart to find room in His heart.

(Adapted from the writings of St. Francis de Sales)