On the feast of the Holy Family the first reading came from the book of Ecclesiasticus. We revisit it today.
It speaks of the duty of children towards their parents, and the responsibilities of parents toward their children.
The quality of relationship between those related by blood is of particular importance in our communities, and not always helped by the circumstances of modern life.
These days after Christmas are often somewhat tense for families – as well as enjoyable!. We do not often spend so much time together as we do in this holiday period.
Returning to this reading offers us the opportunity for a certain examination of conscience about how we live in our families, both at this time and during the rest of the year.
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.
The image featured in today’s blog is not of the Holy Family alone, but of the mystery of the Child Jesus discovered teaching in the Temple.
It reminds that there is more to family than ‘blood family’ only. It also reminds of some of the challenges of family life as people grow up and circumstances change.
- What space do you allow in your family for each other to grow and mature?
- How do you honour and celebrate new achievements?
- How do you support one another during times of challenge and struggle
you cradle us at the beginning of life
and embrace us at our journey’s end,
for you love us as your own.
Bind our families together
and in all circumstances deepen our faith,
that, like the Holy Family of Nazareth,
we grow in wisdom,
obedient to your word.
We ask this through Jesus Christ,
your eternal Word made flesh,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
in the splendour of eternal light,
God for ever and ever. Amen
Image is of the mystery of the Discovery of Jesus in the Temple from the Rosary Way, Aylesford Priory. (c) 2012, Allen Morris.