Sunday, 27 December 2015 : Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate on this Sunday after the Solemnity of Christmas, the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus our Lord, Mary His mother and Joseph, His foster father. On this day we honour that sacred family into whom our Lord and God had been born into this world. This is a model family from which all of our families should model after, and we should indeed heed their examples to be practiced in our own.

As we are still in the midst of the joy of the Christmas season, surely all of us are quite aware of the stories and all the things that are related to Christmas, when our Lord Jesus Christ was born into this world. It all began from the time when the Archangel Gabriel came to Mary and broke the news to her that she would be with a Child, bearing the Saviour in her womb and thus becoming the Vessel and Ark of God’s salvation for men.

And then Joseph, the man to whom Mary had been betrothed to, found out about her pregnancy, and thought that she had been unfaithful to him and committed an adultery, and even so, he tried to salvage her reputation by trying not to publicly denounce her or shame her with the revelation of her seemingly out of order pregnancy. But, when the Angel of God appeared to him in his dreams and revealed to him the truth, he faithfully devoted himself to God’s plans through Mary.

And this continued even so difficulties and challenges faced them together, beginning from the time when Mary was about to give birth to our Lord Jesus. She and Joseph had to travel the treacherous and long distance journey from their house in Nazareth in Galilee to the city of David, Bethlehem in Judea, a distance and journey that certainly no heavily pregnant woman should undertake.

But Joseph followed on very faithfully and helped to get Mary to a place where she could deliver her Child, even in a stable. He protected the newborn Child and His mother, and when the king Herod the Great, who heard of the coming of the Messiah who was prophesied to be the King of the Jews and who was jealous of Him tried to kill Jesus, Joseph guided by the Angel of God in his dream led his family into Egypt until all those who sought the death of Jesus were gone.

And Mary herself loved her Son and her husband equally well, and they together lived on in peace in Nazareth upon returning from Egypt, and as we witnessed in the Gospels, they went together to Jerusalem when Jesus was twelve years old, in order to bring Him to the Temple of God in Jerusalem and join in the festival that was occurring there. We can be sure that they prayed together and worshipped the Lord together.

Indeed, it is likely that it was Mary and Joseph who had taught Jesus how to pray and how to live a life devoted to the Lord and to His commandments. Both Mary and Joseph were devout servants of the Lord, who practiced their faith in all their words, deeds and actions. This is a reminder to all the parents out there that it is their responsibility to teach the faith to their children and to teach them about the Lord.

And we should also note how Jesus, even though He purposefully stayed behind in the Temple of Jerusalem, and arguing with his parents that He had to be in His Father’s house, knowing His true identity as the Son of God and the Divine Word made Man, but He still obeyed His mother and His foster father, followed them and obeyed them as He grew up in the reckoning of man’s years.

This reminds us that children should listen to their parents and learn the right things that they teach them. And this also shows that a family that lives in harmony and love will persevere and prosper. This is very important for us to note, as we now live in a time where the respect and the honour given to the institution of family and the values associated with family life has become lessened and lessened ever more over time.

Yes, we should all be aware how family values and the importance of families became eroded over time, and became increasingly so these days, where people could just mock the institution of families, and family life which was once sacred, had been seen by many people as merely a formality and as even a form of archaism and backwardness.

There are many who sought to destroy the fabric of families, and not least, one of the perpetrators is we ourselves. We have not understood what is the importance of families and how relevant is having a good family to us all. In particular, do we all know that families are the basic units of our faith and the Church? And why is this so, brothers and sisters in Christ?

That is because, as I have just mentioned earlier on, it is usually through the family that someone hears about the faith and the Lord. It is the responsibility of the parents and or godparents, as the vow which all of them had spoken at the time of the baptism of their child, which charged them to bring these little children in good faith and understanding of their Lord’s love and will.

A strong family grounded in good faith will be the foundation of a strong Church, and a strong Church in turn will safeguard its many souls from the attacks of the evil one and from the temptation to turn into sin and wickedness. It is the basic unit of the Church, of our faith, and the family is at the frontline of our regular and constant struggle against the devil and the darkness.

And indeed, the devil knows this, and it is one of the primary objectives of the devil to strike at the heart of the family, for if the family is destroyed, then the souls of the faithful will be in great risk indeed. This is why, on this great feast of the Holy Family, let us all uphold our faith through our family. Let us restore the strength and the harmony within our families, so that together as families blessed by God, each of our family members will be able to resist the devil and his assaults.

May the Lord Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man, Who loved and obeyed His earthly parents and listened to them, and Mary, the Mother of God, whose faith and devotion were exemplary, and St. Joseph, foster father of our Saviour in his commitment and hard works inspire us all to do the same with our own families. God bless us and our families, now and forever. Amen.

Sunday, 27 December 2015 : Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 2 : 41-52

Every year the parents of Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover, as was customary. And when Jesus was twelve years old, He went up with them, according to the custom of this feast. After the festival was over, they returned, but the boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem, and His parents did not know it.

They thought He was in the company, and after walking the whole day they looked for Him among their relatives and friends. As they did not find Him, they went back to Jerusalem searching for Him, and on third day they found Him in the Temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions. And all the people were amazed at His understanding and His answers.

His parents were very surprised when they saw Him, and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Your father and I were very worried while searching for You.” Then He said to them, “Why were you looking for Me? Did you not know that I must be in My Father’s House?” But they did not understand this answer.

Jesus went down with them, returning to Nazareth, and He continued to be subject to them. As for His mother, she kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and age, and in divine and human favour.

Sunday, 27 December 2015 : Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 John 3 : 1-2, 21-24

See what singular love the Father has for us : we are called children of God, and we really are. This is why the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, we are God’s children and what we shall be has not yet been shown. Yet when He appears in His glory, we know that we shall be like Him, for then we shall see Him as He is.

When our conscience does not condemn us, dear friends, we may have complete confidence in God. Then whatever we ask we shall receive, since we keep His commands and do what pleases Him. His command is that we believe in the Name of His Son Jesus Christ and that we love one another, as He has commanded us.

Whoever keeps His commands remains in God and God in him. It is by the Spirit God has given us that we know He lives in us.

Alternative reading

Colossians 3 : 12-21

Clothe yourselves, then, as is fitting for God’s chosen people, holy and beloved of Him. Put on compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience to bear with one another and forgive whenever there is any occasion to do so. As the Lord has forgiven you, forgive one another.

Above all, clothe yourselves with love which binds everything together in perfect harmony. May the peace of Christ overflow in your hearts; for this end you were called to be one body. And be thankful. Let the word of God dwell in you in all its richness. Teach and admonish one another with words of wisdom.

With thankful hearts sing to God psalms, hymns and spontaneous praise. And whatever you do or say, do it in the Name of Jesus, the Lord, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as you should do in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not get angry with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, because that pleases the Lord. Parents, do not be too demanding of your children, lest they become discouraged.

Sunday, 27 December 2015 : Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 83 : 2-3, 5-6, 9-10

How lovely are Your rooms, o Lord of hosts! My soul yearns, pines, for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Happy are those who live in Your house, continually singing Your praise! Happy the pilgrims whom You strengthen, to make the ascent to You.

O Lord of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, o God of Jacob! Look upon Your shield, o God; look upon the face of Your anointed!

Alternative reading

Psalm 127 : 1-2, 3, 4-5

Blessed are you who fear the Lord and walk in His ways. You will eat the fruit of your toil; you will be blessed and favoured.

Your wife, like a vine, will bear fruits in your home; your children, like olive shoots will stand around your table.

Such are the blessings bestowed upon the man who fears the Lord. May the Lord bless you from Zion. May you see Jerusalem prosperous all the days of your life.

Sunday, 27 December 2015 : Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 Samuel 1 : 20-22, 24-28

And Hannah became pregnant. She gave birth to a son and called him Samuel because she said : “I have asked YHVH to give him to me.”

Once more Elkanah went to the Temple with his family to offer his yearly sacrifice and to pay his vow to YHVH. Hannah would not go along but she said to her husband, “I will bring the child there as soon as he is weaned. He shall be presented to YHVH and stay there forever.”

When the child was weaned, Hannah took him with her along with a three year old bull, a measure of flour and a flask of wine, and she brought him to YHVH’s House at Shiloh. The child was still young. After they had slain the bull, they brought the child to Eli.

Hannah exclaimed : “Oh, my lord, look! I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to YHVH. I asked for this child and YHVH granted me the favour I begged of Him. Now, I think, YHVH is asking for this child. As long as he lives, he belongs to YHVH.”

And they worshipped YHVH there.

Alternative reading

Sirach 3 : 3-7, 14-17a (Greek Septuagint version – Sirach 3 : 2-6, 12-14)

Whoever honours his father atones for his sins; he who gives glory to his mother prepares a treasure for himself. Whoever honours his father will receive joy from his own children and will be heard when he prays.

Whoever glorifies his father will have a long life. Whoever obeys the Lord gives comfort to his mother. He serves those who brought him to birth as he would serve the Lord.

For kindness done to one’s father will never be forgotten, it will serve as reparation for your sins. In the day of adversity the Lord will remember it to your advantage; for just as ice melts in the heat, so will your sins melt away. The man who abandons his father is like a blasphemer; he who annoys his mother is cursed by the Lord.

My son, conduct your affairs with discretion and you will be loved by those who are acceptable to God.

(Usus Antiquior) Feast of the Holy Family (II Classis) – Sunday, 11 January 2015 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : White


Luke 2 : 22

Tulerunt Jesum parentes ejus in Jerusalem, ut sisterent eum Domino.

English translation

The parents of Jesus carried Him to the Temple, to present Him to the Lord.

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Placationis hostiam offerimus tibi, Domine, suppliciter deprecantes : ut, per intercessionem Deiparae Virginis cum beato Joseph, familias nostras in pace et gratia tua firmiter constituas. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

English translation

To appease You, o Lord, we offer the Victim of Salvation, humbly beseeching You that, through the prayers of the Virgin Mother of God and of St. Joseph, You would establish our households in Your peace and favour. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Preface of the Epiphany

Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere : Domine, Sancte Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus : Quia, cum Unigenitus Tuus in substantiae nostrae mortalitatis apparuit, nova nos immortalitatis suae luce reparavit. Et ideo cum Angelis et Archangelis, cum Thronis et Dominationibus cumque omni militia caelestis exercitus hymnum gloriae Tuae canimus, sine fine dicentes :

English translation

It is truly meet and just, right and salutary, that we should always, and in all places, give thanks to You, o Holy Lord, Father Almighty, eternal God. Because Your only begotten Son appearing in our mortal nature had restored it by the shedding upon us of that new and immortal light which is His very own. And therefore with the Angels and Archangels, with the Thrones and Dominations and with all the array of the heavenly host, we sing a hymn to Your glory and unceasingly repeat :


Luke 2 : 51

Descendit Jesus cum eis, et venit Nazareth, et erat subditus illis.

English translation

Jesus went down with them, and came to Nazareth and was subject to them.

Post-Communion Prayer

Quos caelestibus reficis sacramentis, fac, Domine Jesu, Sanctae Familiae Tuae exempla jugiter imitari : ut in hora mortis nostrae, occurrente gloriosa Virgine Matre tua cum beato Joseph; per te in aeterna tabernacula recipi mereamur : Qui vivis et regnas cum Deo Patre in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

May You, o Lord, bring us whom You have refreshed with heavenly mysteries to imitate the example of Your Holy Family, that at the hour of our death, with the Virgin Mother and blessed Joseph at hand, we may be received by You into our everlasting home. Who lives and reigns with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Feast of the Holy Family (II Classis) – Sunday, 11 January 2015 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : White

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke

Luke 2 : 42-52

Cum factus esset Jesus annorum duodecim, ascendentibus illis Jerosolymam secundum consuetudinem diei festi, consummatisque diebus, cum redirent, remansit puer Jesus in Jerusalem, et non cognoverunt parentes ejus. Existimantes autem illum esse in comitatu, venerunt iter diei, et requirebant eum inter cognatos et notos.

Et non invenientes, regressi sunt in Jerusalem, requirentes eum. Et factum est, post triduum invenerunt illum in templo sedentem in medio doctorum, audientem illos et interrogantem eos. Stupebant autem omnes, qui eum audiebant, super prudentia et responsis ejus.

Et videntes admirati sunt. Et dixit Mater ejus ad illum : Fili, quid fecisti nobis sic? Ecce, pater tuus et ego dolentes quaerebamus te. Et ait ad illos : Quid est, quod me quaerebatis? Nesciebatis, quia in his, quae Patris mei sunt, oportet me esse? Et ipsi non intellexerunt verbum, quod locutus est ad eos.

Et descendit cum eis, et venit Nazareth : et erat subditus illis. Et Mater ejus conservabat omnia verba haec in corde suo. Et Jesus proficiebat sapientia et aetate et gratia apud Deum et homines.


English translation

And when Jesus was twelve years old, they go up into Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast, and having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the Child Jesus remained in Jerusalem, and His parents did not know it. And thinking that He was in the company, they came through a day’s journey, and sought Him amongst their kinsfolk and acquaintance.

And not finding Him, they returned to Jerusalem seeking for Him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found Him in the Temple sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them and asking them questions. And all those who heard Him were astonished at His wisdom and His answers.

And seeing Him, they wondered. And His Mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Behold Your father and I have sought You with sorrow.” And He said to them, “How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” And they did not understand the word that He spoke unto them.

And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them. And His mother kept all these words in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom, and age, and grace with God and man.


Homily and Reflection :

(Usus Antiquior) Feast of the Holy Family (II Classis) – Sunday, 11 January 2015 : Gradual and Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 26 : 4, Isaiah 45 : 15 and Psalm 83 : 5

Unam petii a Domino, hanc requiram : ut inhabitem in domo Domini omnibus diebus vitae meae.

Beati, qui habitant in domo Tua, Domine : in saecula saeculorum laudabunt Te.

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Vere Tu es Rex absconditus, Deus Israel Salvator. Alleluja.

English translation

One thing I have asked of the Lord, this I will seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.

Blessed are they who dwell in Your House, o Lord, they shall praise You forever and ever.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Truly You are a hidden King, the God of Israel, the Saviour. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) Feast of the Holy Family (II Classis) – Sunday, 11 January 2015 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : White

Lectio Epistolae Beati Pauli Apostoli ad Colossenses – Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Colossians

Colossians 3 : 12-17

Fratres : Induite vos sicut electi Dei, sancti et dilecti, viscera misericordiae, benignitatem, humilitatem, modestiam, patientiam : supportantes invicem, et donantes vobismetipsis, si quis adversus aliquem habet querelam : sicut et Dominus donavit vobis, ita et vos.

Super omnia autem haec caritatem habete, quod est vinculum perfectionis : et pax Christi exsultet in cordibus vestris, in qua et vocati estis in uno corpore : et grati estote. Verbum Christi habitet in vobis abundanter, in omni sapientia, docentes et commonentes vosmetipsos psalmis, hymnis et canticis spiritualibus, in gratia cantantes in cordibus vestris Deo.

Omne, quodcumque facitis in verbo aut in opere, omnia in Nomine Domini Jesu Christi, gratias agentes Deo et Patri per ipsum.


English translation

Brethren, put you on the elect of God, holy and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience, bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if any have a complaint against another, even as the Lord had forgiven you, so you also.

But above all these things, have charity, which is the bond of perfection : and let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein you are also called in one body, and all of you be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly, in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another, in psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles, singing in grace in your hearts to God.

All whatsoever you do in word or in work, all things you do, do it in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Homily and Reflection :

(Usus Antiquior) Feast of the Holy Family (II Classis) – Sunday, 11 January 2015 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : White


Proverbs 23 : 24-25 and Psalm 83 : 2-3

Exsultet gaudio pater Justi, gaudeat Pater tuus et Mater tua, et exsultet quae geniet te.

Quam dilecta tabernacula Tua, Domine virtutum! Concupiscit et deficit anima mea in atria Domini.

Response : Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper : et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Let the father of the Just rejoice greatly, and let your father and your mother be joyful, and let her rejoice who have bore you.

How lovely are Your tabernacles, o Lord of hosts, my soul longed and fainted for the courts of the Lord.

Response : Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


Domine Jesu Christe, qui, Mariae et Joseph subditus, domesticam vitam ineffabilibus virtutibus consecrasti : fac nos, utriusque auxilio, Familiae sanctae Tuae exemplis instrui; et consortium consequi sempiternum : Qui vivis et regnas Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

O Lord Jesus Christ, who, in the days of Your subjection to Mary and Joseph, had consecrated home life by ineffable acts of virtue, by the intercession of Your holy Mother and Your foster Father, make us so to profit by the example they with You have set us, that we may be counted members of Your household forevermore. Who lives and reigns, God, world without end. Amen.