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Vol: 46, No.7 THE HOLY FAMILY ( C) December 30 2018  
The shepherds went in haste, and found Mary and Joseph and the Infant lying in a manger. (Lk 2:16)
We are in the season of Christmas when the birth and the infancy of Jesus take the centre stage. The gospel of today narrates the finding of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple. This episode tells a lot about the Holy Family whose feast we are celebrating today. The Holy Family has come to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of the Passover along with other pilgrims. It is normal for the parents to think that a twelve-year-old boy would not miss the way back home and so they go ahead with their journey only to find the child missing after a day’s journey. The parents become anxious and make frantic efforts to find the child. Eventually they find him in the Temple. Dear friends, it is in families that Christian values are cultivated and instilled into the minds of its members. Love and care are essential aspects of family life. Do we nurture the spiritual and psychological growth of our children? Are our families loving and caring? (Pause)

I confess to almighty God/.....
Glory to God in the highest...

O God, who were pleased to give us the shining example of the Holy Family, graciously grant that we may imitate them in practising the virtues of family life and in the bonds of
charity, and so, in the joy of your house, delight one day in eternal rewards. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
(Sirach, the wise teacher, gives beautiful advice on duty towards one’s parents. He who honours his father will have his sins forgiven, and who upholds the name of the mother will advance in riches).
A reading from the Book of Sirach
(3:2-6, 12-14)

The Lord honoured the father above the children, and he confirmed the right of the mother over her sons. Whoever honours his father atones for sins, and whoever glorifies his mother is like one who lays up treasure. Whoever honours his father will be gladdened by his own children, and when he prays he will be heard. Whoever glorifies his father will have long life, and whoever obeys the Lord will refresh his mother. O son, help your father in his old age, and do not grieve him as long as he lives; even if he is lacking in understanding, show forbearance; in all your strength do not despise him. For kindness to a father will not be forgotten, and against your sins it will be credited to you.
The Word of the Lord
PSALM (128)
Response: O blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways!
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