Sanctifying Ordinary Life

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

First Reading: Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14

God sets a father in honor over his children;
a mother’s authority he confirms over her sons.
Whoever honors his father atones for sins,
and preserves himself from them.
When he prays, he is heard;
he stores up riches who reveres his mother.
Whoever honors his father is gladdened by children,
and, when he prays, is heard.
Whoever reveres his father will live a long life;
he who obeys his father brings comfort to his mother.

My son, take care of your father when he is old;
grieve him not as long as he lives.
Even if his mind fail, be considerate of him;
revile him not all the days of his life;
kindness to a father will not be forgotten,
firmly planted against the debt of your sins
—a house raised in justice to you.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4-5

R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.
Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD,
who walks in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
your children like olive plants
around your table.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.

Second Reading: Colossians 3:12-21

Brothers and sisters:
Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,
heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,
bearing with one another and forgiving one another,
if one has a grievance against another;
as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.
And over all these put on love,
that is, the bond of perfection.
And let the peace of Christ control your hearts,
the peace into which you were also called in one body.
And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,
as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another,
singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs
with gratitude in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do, in word or in deed,
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Wives, be subordinate to your husbands,
as is proper in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives,
and avoid any bitterness toward them.
Children, obey your parents in everything,
for this is pleasing to the Lord.
Fathers, do not provoke your children,
so they may not become discouraged.

Gospel: Luke 2:41-52

Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast
of Passover,
and when he was twelve years old,
they went up according to festival custom.
After they had completed its days, as they were returning,
the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem,
but his parents did not know it.
Thinking that he was in the caravan,
they journeyed for a day
and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances,
but not finding him,
they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.
After three days they found him in the temple,
sitting in the midst of the teachers,
listening to them and asking them questions,
and all who heard him were astounded
at his understanding and his answers.
When his parents saw him,
they were astonished,
and his mother said to him,
“Son, why have you done this to us?
Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”
And 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 what he said to them.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth,
and was obedient to them;
and his mother kept all these things in her heart.
And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor
before God and man.


dec 27

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family. That most perfect family consisting of Joseph, Mary and Jesus. In her wisdom, our Church draws our attention to the importance of this holy family and how it is the most perfect model for our family life.

In the days leading up to my big move from my parents’ home in California to my first apartment in Minnesota, my mom called me out to our patio. She had me sit down and she handed me item after item. Mixing bowl, a can opener, a pot to boil beans just like the one I grew up watching her use.

Simple things. Ordinary. Perhaps mundane to some.

But my mother was passing down her wisdom. It wasn’t just a mixing bowl, it was a tool to prepare and serve those who would be a part of my new home. Every time I start to boil water for beans, I recall my parents sorting, cleaning, and washing those beans. Making them stretch for days because we don’t waste, we use our things wisely. I imagine Mary did this too. Jesus watched her mend clothes because they didn’t waste. He heard Joseph recite the prayers that other Jewish families said in their homes. Jesus probably saw Mary prepare meals for family and friends who were visiting on a feast day. All simple and ordinary parts of family life.

In their day-to-day activities, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, sanctified ordinary life. That first Christian home was a model of care, protection, and virtue. Our Christian homes, whether they consist of a gaggle of children, a few good friends or a husband and wife, are meant to imitate the little house of Nazareth. Our homes are a place where we learn to know God and make life a more beautiful and peaceful for those who enter it. Centered around Christ, our ordinary and simple life is sanctified.

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Is Christ the center of your family home? Are we giving our home the time and attention that it deserves?

Jacqueline Skemp is a daughter, sister, wife and mother who endures living in Minnesota after leaving California for her one true love. You can find out more about her here.

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