Tag Archives: Christmas

The Holy Family of Nazareth: an ‘incomparable gift from God’

English: Holy Family, Mary, Joseph, and child ...

Today is the
feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth. In the liturgy the passage from Luke’s
Gospel presents the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph who, faithful to tradition, go
to Jerusalem for the Passover with the twelve-year-old Jesus. The first time
Jesus had entered the Temple of the Lord was forty days after his birth, when
his parents had offered “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons”
(Luke 2:24) on his behalf, which is the sacrifice of poor. “Luke, whose
Gospel is filled with a whole theology of the poor and poverty, makes it clear
… that Jesus’ family was counted among the poor of Israel; he helps us to
understand that it was there among them where the fulfillment of God’s promise
matured” ( The Infancy Narratives, 96). Today Jesus is in the Temple
again
, but this time he has a different role, which involves him in the first
person. He undertakes the pilgrimage to Jerusalem as prescribed by the Law (Ex
23.17, 34.23 ff) together with Mary and Joseph, although he was not yet in his
thirteenth year: a sign of the deep religiosity of the Holy Family. But when
his parents return to Nazareth, something unexpected happens: he, without
saying anything, remains in the City. For three days, Mary and Joseph search
for him and find him in the Temple, speaking with the teachers of the Law (Lk
2: 46 ,47), and when they ask him for an explanation, Jesus tells them they
have no cause to wonder, because that is his place, that is his home, with the
Father, who is God (The Infancy Narratives 143). “He – Origen writes –
professes to be in the temple of his Father, the Father who has revealed
Himself to us and of which he says he is the Son” (Homilies on the Gospel
of Luke, 18, 5).

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Nativity of the Lord

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Blessed be the Child who today delights Bethlehem.


Blessed
be the Newborn who today made humanity young again.
Blessed be the Gracious One
who suddenly enriched all of our poverty
and filled our need.

Saint Ephrem

Canceling Christmas is not an option

We all are hurting today. Whatever the reason, joy seems to be lacking in many. For some people any celebration of Christmas is out of the question. They believe that joy is not permitted due to the murders of children and adults. There is no room for hope, no possible way to feel anything but misery. There is no question that the radical absence of loved ones is very trying and almost hopeless. I think we can understand this line of thinking, but I think for people of true Christian faith this is not the answer.

Our friend, Dominican Father Peter John Cameron (Editor-in-Chief of Magnificat), tells us why Christmas is important and how it shapes our humanity and our belief that death and violence doesn’t have the final word. He makes a clear case for a true celebration of JOY. Father Cameron celebrates the sacred Liturgy weekly at the now famous Catholic Church in Newtown, Connecticut, Saint Rose of Lima.
For your prayerful consideration: Fr. Peter Cameron Newtown Homily Dec 16 2012.pdf

Living in Joyful Hope

Living in Joyful Hope Lewis.jpg

During Advent and Christmas we await and celebrate
the birth of Christ in order to tune our hearts to await and celebrate the
fulfillment of God’s “plan for the fullness of time, together up all things in
Christ, things in heaven and things on earth.” Ephesians 1:10. What better way
to tune our hearts than by listening, with great care and attention to the work
of God?


In her book, Living in Joyful Hope, Suzanne Lewis offers short
verses from the Bible with reflections and prayers to serve as a springboard
for our personal reflection on the Word of God. Suzanne’s mediations are based on the theology of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Follow the link above.

The temptation of Christmas

Nativity of the Lord JFlanders.jpg

Have we finished the Christmas season in good order? Have we exceeded our expectation to live the season of Christmas differently from what secular culture has given us? Or, have we given up and just given ourselves over to the mediocrity of the the world around us with regard to Christian Faith?  What follows is a very interesting commentary on our Christian observance of the Birth of Jesus, the Nativity of God-Man by Father Julián Carrón. While the today brings to a close the Church’s yearly observance of Christmastide, we have work to do before we put to rest the nagging questions: what difference does this Child make in my life? AND Do we really believe that God is in our midst?


In order to describe our humanity and to see ourselves properly at this moment in the world’s history, it is hard for us to find more appropriate words than those contained in this passage by the Prophet Zephaniah. “Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel!”. Why? What reason is there to rejoice, with all that is happening in the world? Because “the Lord has taken away the judgments against you”.

The first repercussion that these words produced in me was surprise at how the Lord looks at us: with a gaze that succeeds in seeing things that we shall not be able to recognize unless we participate in his same gaze at reality. “The Lord has taken away the judgments against you”: in other words, your evil does not have the last word over your life; the usual way you look at yourself is not the right one; the look with which you constantly reproach yourself is not true. The one true look is the Lord’s look. And it is precisely by this look that you will be able to understand that he is with you: if he has taken away the judgment against you, what can you fear? “You shall fear evil no more”. An inexorable positiveness prevails over life. For this reason, the biblical passage continues, “do not fear, O Zion, do not let your hands grow weak” Why? Because “The Lord your God is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory”. There is no other source of joy than this: “he will rejoice over you with gladness. He will renew you with his love, he will exult over you with loud singing” (3:14-17).

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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