THE HOLY FAMILY
Why is this Feast celebrated today, instead of closer to Christmas? Because in Old Testament Law, a child wasn't a son of Abraham or a true part of the family until his circumcision at 8 days of age, an event of Christ's life that we celebrated on 1 January (from 25 December to 1 January are 8 days). ~ Fisheaters
From eternity, the Son of God had lived the family life of the Blessed Trinity. At Nazareth, as the Redeemer both of individuals and of families, He lived and made holy the home life that guards divine life in every baptized person.
Problems of family life center mainly in personalities. But social pressures and poverty also add disturbing tensions. Happily, God made marriage a sacrament, which is ministered by husband and wife to one another. Through the sacrament, they communicate to one another those special graces they need for living their enduring and sometimes difficult obligations.
God remains the third partner in every marriage, with His own inalienable rights. In the Holy Family, God Incarnate was the third member. In a Christian family, anywhere in the world, the father is the spiritual head who takes the place of Christ.
INTROIT (Prov. 23:24, 25)
The Father of the just one greatly rejoices. Let your father and your mother be joyful, and let her who bore you be glad.
Ps. 83:2, 3. How lovely is Your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul yearns and faints for the courts of the Lord.
V. Glory be . . .
O Lord Jesus Christ, You sanctified home life with untold virtues by being subject to Mary and Joseph. May they assist us to imitate the example of Your Holy Family, so that we may share with them their eternal happiness; who lives and rules with God the Father . . .
Commemoration of the First Sunday After The Epiphany
O Lord, mercifully hear the plea of those who call upon You, that Your people may understand their duty and be strengthened to fulfill it. Through Our Lord . . .
EPISTLE (Col. 3:12-17)
Brethren: Put ye on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience: Bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if any have a complaint against another. Even as the Lord hath forgiven you, so do you also. But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein also you are called in one body: and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly: in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual canticles, singing in grace in your hearts to God. All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
GRADUAL (Ps. 26:4; 83:5)
One thing I have asked of the Lord; this will I seek after: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. V.Happy they who dwell in Your house, O Lord! They shall praise You forever and ever.
Alleluia, alleluia! V. (Isa. 45:15)
Verily You are a hidden king, the God of Israel, the Savior.
GOSPEL (Luke 2:42-52)
And when he was twelve years old, they going up into Jerusalem, according to the custom of the feast, And having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the child Jesus remained in Jerusalem. And his parents knew it not. And thinking that he was in the company, they came a day's journey and sought him among their kinsfolks and acquaintance. And not finding him, they returned into Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that, after three days, they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his wisdom and his answers. And seeing him, they wondered. And his mother said to him: "Son, why hast thou done so to us? Behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing." And he said to them: "How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be about my father's business?"
And they understood not the word that he spoke unto them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was subject to them. And his mother kept all these words in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and grace with God and men.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON (Luke 2:22)
The parents of Jesus took Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord.
O Lord, we offer You this sacrifice in atonement for our sins. May the intercession of the Virgin Mother of God and blessed Joseph, ever bestow Your peace and grace upon our families. Through our Lord . . .
May the sacrifice we offer You, O Lord, bring us new life and keep us safe. Through Our Lord . . .
COMMUNION ANTIPHON (Luke 2:51)
Jesus went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them.
We are refreshed by Your heavenly Sacrament, O Lord Jesus. Help us always to follow the example of Your Holy Family, that Your glorious Virgin Mother and blessed Joseph may meet us at the hour of our death, and find us worthy to enter with You into Your eternal home; who lives and rules with God the Father . . .
Almighty God, we humbly ask that those who are nourished with Your Sacrament may live a life of worthy service pleasing to You. Through Our Lord . . .
Prayer to the Holy Family
Domine Iesu Christe, qui Mariae et Ioseph subditus, domesticam vitam ineffabilibus virtutibus consecrasti: fac nos, utriusque auxilio, Familiae sanctae tuae exemplis instrui et consortium consequi sempiternum: Qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, Who, being made subject to Mary and Joseph, didst consecrate domestic life by Thine ineffable virtues; grant that we, with the assistance of both, may be taught by the example of Thy Holy Family and may attain to its everlasting fellowship. Who livest and reignest forever. Amen.