December 29, 2019:Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
Catholic Social Teaching: Call to Family, Community and Participation
The sacredness and dignity of human life exists not in isolation, but affirmed through individuals growing in community and seeking together the well being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.
First Reading: Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14
Psalm: 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
Second Reading: Colossians 3:12-21
Gospel: Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit. In the procreation and education of children it reflects the Father’s work of creation. It is called to partake of the prayer and sacrifice of Christ. Daily prayer and the reading of the Word of God strengthen it in charity. The Christian family has an evangelizing and missionary task. (2205) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Cycle A
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:
It is in the family that one learns the love and faithfulness of the Lord, and the need to respond to these (cf. Ex 12:25-27, 13:8,14-15; Deut 6:20-25, 13:7-11; 1 Sam 3:13). It is in the family that children learn their first and most important lessons of practical wisdom, to which the virtues are connected (cf. Prov 1:8-9, 4:1-4, 6:20-21; Sir 3:1-16, 7:27-28). Because of all this, the Lord himself is the guarantor of the love and fidelity of married life (cf. Mal 2:14-15).
Jesus was born and lived in a concrete family, accepting all its characteristic features and he conferred the highest dignity on the institution of marriage, making it a sacrament of the new covenant (cf. Mt 19:3-9). It is in this new perspective that the couple finds the fullness of its dignity and the family its solid foundation.(210)
The immediate purpose of the Church’s social doctrine is to propose the principles and values that can sustain a society worthy of the human person. Among these principles, solidarity includes all the others in a certain way. It represents “one of the fundamental principles of the Christian view of social and political organization”.
Light is shed on this principle by the primacy of love, “the distinguishing mark of Christ’s disciples (cf. Jn 13:35)”. Jesus teaches us that “the fundamental law of human perfection, and consequently of the transformation of the world, is the new commandment of love” (cf. Mt 22:40, Jn 15:12; Col 3:14; Jas 2:8). Personal behaviour is fully human when it is born of love, manifests love and is ordered to love. This truth also applies in the social sphere; Christians must be deeply convinced witnesses of this, and they are to show by their lives how love is the only force (cf. 1 Cor 12:31-14:1) that can lead to personal and social perfection, allowing society to make progress towards the good. (580)
A family cannot live in a surreal bubble, thinking they have attained perfection of mores, holy sanctification in idealistic form, yet live isolated from the world. Personal agendas, professional status, prime activities solidifying the bubble’s rigidity, making it more impenetrable, foster familia failure in a Gospel context. A family failing to hear promptings of the Holy Spirit to do God’s will because the family has an already packed calendar. Never hearing the call out of exile or open to fulfilling prophetic proclamations. Never taking time to care for the elders or listen to the needs of their children. Taking more time to put on stylish clothes than matriculating heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility and gentleness. Lacking patience to navigate out of the bubble and hearing worldly challenges in dialogue with others staring reality in the face. Families living in a bubble have a false love of themselves and fail to truly love others. Never attaining the bond of perfection but continuously on a treadmill trying to gain momentum, for Christ does not control their hearts. Those who remain in silence to the multitude of bubbles populating society only foster their existence. A profound need exists to tap on people’s bubbles and invite them to live in the world. An admonishment to live with gratitude to God and hearts open to his ways. The invitation to see life is more than just living for our selves, but in communion with humanity. For what ever we do in word or deed, everything must be done in the Lord’s name while giving thanks to God. The realization solidifying the value of all people to contribute and use their God given gifts. The call to negate subordination and bestow collaboration as the model of human form and integrity to walk in the Lord’s ways.
Individual Reflection: Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23
Learn about the Synod on the Family held in the Diocese of San Diego and the positive initiatives emulating. How might you encourage your diocese to hold such a gathering, that started with listening to the laity at each parish?
Family Reflection: Colossians 3:12-21
Each week in the coming year, have one family member select a family activity that will get the family into and more aware of the “world”.
Prayer: Pray the Our Father reflecting how God asks us to live as His children and in the human family
Blogs to Visit:
As we reflect upon Mary’s presence in the mysteries of the Rosary, we are blessed to know her. For her journey, a timeless trek, calls us to surrender, continuing conversion, humbleness and justice now.
Weekly lectionary reflections, for faith sharing groups, parish bulletins, newsletters or personal prayer, from the synergy of the Word we hear and the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.
Catholic Social Teaching offers seven principles for upholding life in our thoughts, decisions and actions.
How we do Catholic Social Teaching.
Creation sustainability ministry resources in the spirit of the St Francis Pledge.
Social Ministry Resources Engaging Parishes: Monthly and liturgical seasons resources for use with parish websites, bulletins and newsletters
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born December 21, 2019 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.