A reading from the Book of Sirach (Sirach 3:2-6.12-14)
“He who fears the Lord honours his parents.”
The Lord honoured the father above the children, and he confirmed the right of the mother over her sons. Whoever honours his father atones for sins, and preserves himself from them. When he prays, he is heard; and whoever glorifies his mother is like one who lays up treasure. Whoever honours his father will be gladdened by his own children, and when he prays he will be heard. Whoever glorifies his father will have long life, and whoever obeys the Lord will refresh his mother. O son, help your father in his old age, and do not grieve him as long as he lives; even if he is lacking in understanding, show forbearance; and do not despise him all the days of his life. For kindness to a father will not be forgotten, and against your sins it will be credited to you a house raised in justice to you.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM (Psalm 125:1-2.3.4-5 (R. cf.1))
R/. Blessed are all who fear the Lord, and walk in his ways.
Blessed are all who fear the Lord,
and walk in his ways! By the labour
of your hands you shall eat.
You will be blessed and prosper. R/.
Your wife like a fruitful vine
in the heart of your house;
your children like shoots of the olive
around your table. R/.
Indeed thus shall be blessed
the man who fears the Lord.
May the Lord bless you from Sion.
May you see Jerusalem prosper
all the days of your life !. R/.
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Colossians (Colossians 3:12-21)
Concerning the Christian life in the family.
Brethren: Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience, forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And over all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as you teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
The word of the Lord.
ALLELUIA (Colossians 3:15a.16a)
Alleluia. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts;
let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 2: 13-15.19-23)
“Take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt.”
When the Wise Men had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt have I called my son.” But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” And he rose and took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus reigned over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. And he went and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Today we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family. Many strongly believe, and they are right, that the family is the first basic human society. Family life initiates every individual into the reality that no human person is an island. We are dependent beings. That is why in the Holy Family we find model qualities that should govern every well-meaning family. They are: obedience, loyalty, respect, forgiveness, service, love etc.
Lord, as we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family, we pray that all mothers emulate the humility of our mother Mary; all fathers follow the devotion of St Joseph, and all children learn to obey as Jesus did.