As an example for us to follow, the Holy Family can seem a little too perfect: when we consider the more “dramatic” events of the Christmas and Easter story, it can seem so far removed from us. And yet, as today’s Gospel reminds us (especially in the shorter version), there were also the so-called “hidden years” – the many years of family life in Nazareth, spent in ordinary things. During that time, we hear how Jesus grew and matured, and in the glimpse of that family life we see our example. The family is a basic unit of our Christian society, despite coming under threat nowadays. Our celebration of this feast, and the Word of God we proclaim, announces that there is a lasting value in the ideals of family life, and the relationship between husband, wife, parents and children. Whatever the changing details of each age, honour, understanding and love always remain the recipe for the perfect, and holy, human family. It is love that we put on over all the other clothes of changing cultures and places, to guarantee the life of the family in imitation of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
First Reading: Genesis 15: 1-6, 21: 1-3
Second Reading: Hebrews 11:8, 11-12, 17-19
Gospel Reading: Luke 2:22-40
Give thanks to the Lord, tell his name, make known his deeds among the peoples. O sing to him, sing his praise: tell all his wonderful works. Be proud of his holy name, let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice. Consider the Lord and his strength; constantly seek his face. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, the judgements he spoke. O children of Abraham, his servant, O sons of Jacob he chose. He remembers his covenant for ever, his promise for a thousand generations, the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Issac.