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The Feast of the Holy Family

Sunday, December 30, 2012
The Feast of the Holy Family is on the Sunday between Christmas and the Feast of Holy Mary, Mother of God (1st January). It is an important feast, not only because of the role it played in our redemption but also the fact that it is still the model of a Christian family, even today.

Ten years ago, Blessed Pope John Paul II expressed his wishes for today’s families to have ‘the peace, harmony and love of the house in Nazareth.’ It is not to mean that the Holy family did not experience problems. Already before Joseph and Mary were together she became pregnant and Joseph was in great confusion and wanted to divorce her quietly until he had a dream and the angel of the Lord invited him to take her in his house. When the child was about to be born, the family could not find a room in the entire village of Bethlehem. When Jesus was presented in the Temple, the prophet Simeon told Mary that her heart would be pierced by a sword. Later, when Herod heard that a child was born to become King, he tried to kill him and the family had to go to Egypt. When Jesus was twelve years old, the parents lost him in the Temple of Jerusalem. It is highly probable that Joseph’s business had some financial problems as it is the case for poor families in occupied territories where the conquered people have to pay taxes to the occupier. Pope John Paul II said that those qualities of the Holy families (despite the hardships they went through) would help today’s families ‘overcome trials and difficulties [they] encounter on [their] way’.

Among other current issues dealt by Church authorities, family issues have taken an important place. The Holy Family of Nazareth is the ideal of a Christian family even though we all recognise the fact that many families do not look much like the Holy Family and are still good families. The United Kingdom is also very much affected by the family breakdown. Many children are raised by a single mother, a single father or in other kinds of households where the traditional setting ‘father-mother-children’ does not obviously appear. Today, several children have had more than two fathers or mothers by the time they leave the family house for studies, jobs or other commitments. Most of the time those children become very decent, responsible members of the society. However, they often have to go through extra pains while growing up. It may also destroy their future completely.

The Holy Family still inspires indeed. It went through many problems that have always been experienced by families: homelessness, poverty, doubt, confusion, persecution, exile, occupation of their land by a foreign army, heavy laws imposed by corrupted leaders, etc.  The fact that it kept its dignity and became the ideal family for all Christians depended on the harmonious relationship and love between Joseph to Mary and Jesus.

Just as prayed Blessed John Paul II in 2002, ‘let us entrust to the Holy Family of Nazareth the families of the whole world, especially those that have been most harshly tried by suffering or are in difficulty’.
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Lord of lords and King of kings – enthroned in a manger!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Luke 2:1- 20. Read more

Tomorrow You Shall See the Glory of the Lord

Monday, December 24, 2012

Fourth Sunday of Advent: Recognition and Rejoicing

Sunday, December 23, 2012
After a few lines of introduction Luke kicks off his Gospel with two Annunciations: in the first the angel Gabriel comes to Zechariah the priest while he is serving in the temple and tells him that his now elderly wife Elizabeth will finally conceive the child that she has longed for. This child is to be named John (Luke 1:13) and he shall make ready for the Lord a people prepared (Luke 1:17). Zechariah expresses surprise and so Gabriel declares that Zechariah will be struck dumb for his lack of belief. This invites us to contrast this first annunciation with the second which immediately follows it. This time Gabriel comes to Our Lady and greets her: ‘Hail, full of grace’ (Luke 1:28). He goes on to tell her that she will conceive a son who is to be named Jesus (Luke 1:31), and that he will be Son of the Most High and rule over the house of Jacob for ever (Luke 1:32-3). Mary, like Zechariah, is surprised and asks "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" (Luke 1: 34). Yet Mary is not struck dumb. Instead the respectful and even reverential Gabriel explains that the Holy Spirit will ‘overshadow’ Mary and ‘therefore the child to be born will be called Holy, the Son of God’ (Luke 1:35). Gabriel then drops Mary a heavy hint: Elizabeth, who had been called barren, had herself conceived (Luke 1:24. 1:36). Read more

News from around the Province

Sunday, December 23, 2012
Friars Preachers Read more

The Pope's First Tweet and the End of the World

Saturday, December 22, 2012
still Read more

A Virgin will Conceive ...

Thursday, December 20, 2012
Isa 7:10-14; Ps 24:1-6; Lk 1:26-38. Also Mt 1:18-25. Read more

19 December: O Radix Jesse

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

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Advent: Who is this man?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"That is a true friend" - Fr Denis Geraghty OP (1929-2012)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Fr Allan White OP, formerly Prior Provincial of the English Province and currently Senior Chaplain at New York University, preached the following homily at the funeral of Fr Denis, which took place at St Dominic’s, London, on 5th November 2012: Read more
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