Sunday is the feast of the Holy Family. For those who have got into the habit of using this blog to prepare for the coming Sunday you will not be surprised that the reading here is not from today, Christmas Day. For those who are surprised let this reading lead you into a fresh contemplation of the mystery we celebrate today…
The Lord honours the father in his children,
and upholds the rights of a mother over her sons.
Whoever respects his father is atoning for his sins,
he who honours his mother is like someone amassing a fortune.
Whoever respects his father will be happy with children of his own,
he shall be heard on the day when he prays.
Long life comes to him who honours his father,
he who sets his mother at ease is showing obedience to the Lord.
My son, support your father in his old age,
do not grieve him during his life.
Even if his mind should fail, show him sympathy,
do not despise him in your health and strength;
for kindness to a father shall not be forgotten
but will serve as reparation for your sins.
God the Father may not have to endure ‘old age’ in the sense that Ecclesiasticus means it. But otherwise the passage speaks beautifully of the relationship of a son with his father, as that love is manifested perfectly in the love Jesus has for God our Father.
‘On earth as it is in heaven…’ Jesus would have us pray. Praying that, surely we wish to live it.
In our daily family life we have the opportunity of living out this gospel truth, of entering into the mystery of the relationship of the Father and the Father’s Only Son.
Image is of mosaic of the Holy Family from the church of St Joseph the Worker, Reneh, Nazareth. (c) 2012, Allen Morris.
Please pray for the Christians, and all of the people, of the Middle East. Pray for peace and reconciliation. Pray for the family of the children of God.