We continue recording Sunday liturgies to place on our website and Facebook pages. This week we will also post the January 1st liturgy for Mary, Mother of God.
This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. Pictures idealize the Holy Family, but they had their challenges: an unexpected pregnancy, a long trip, no safe place to give birth, becoming refugees, etc. But Mary and Joseph had the courage and the faith to weather all of this and provide a nurturing home for the Child Jesus.
It is interesting to reflect on the effects of the pandemic and quarantine on families. The news tells us that domestic violence has risen significantly. And yet any number of people have expressed to me how being at home has strengthened their family life and brought them together more. Why such opposite effects?
Maybe there is a clue in our second reading from Colossians. The more family members are living these virtues that Paul presents, the more likely quarantine will bring them together. And the more someone isn’t, the more likelihood of unhappiness and trouble. And the key: am I able to think of others or do I just think of myself? The virtues Paul lists are the following: heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another…And over all these put on love… All of them have to do with thinking of the other, giving the other a break, being
understanding. Our reading from Sirach reinforces being aware of and acting on the needs of the other.
How have I been doing in the last nine months? Sure, we all have days that are better than others, but overall, have I shown that I am basically able to think of more than just myself and my needs? Where – and how – can I do better? Reflecting on our experience of these last nine months might help us grow in our ability to make our
families places of happiness and growth.
I wish you each a happy new year and a blessed 2021. Be assured of my prayers. I end with my favorite prayer for January 1st:
Dear Lord! So far this year I've done well. I haven't gossiped, I haven't lost my temper, I haven't been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent. I'm very thankful for that. But in a few minutes, Lord, I'm going to get out of bed, and from then on I'm probably going to need a lot more help. Amen