“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to people of good will.”With these words Angels announced to the Shepherds the Good News of the birth of the Messiah. The Mystery of The Prince of Peace, the Emmanuel Who is born among us again.
We now enter four weeks of our Advent journey of faith. And, we are so lucky to know how the story of the journey will end…finally arriving at the stable in Bethlehem, where we meet Mary, Joseph and the newborn child – the Word of God (Who, by accepting human nature came so close to each of us to become one with us) united with us in everything except sin. Finally, we can fully share the same joy, which filled the hearts of Mary, Joseph, and to all who this great message was proclaimed, if only we make our hearts ready to accept it. However, to our surprise, our journey does not end at the Bethlehem stable. Gazing at the Holy Family, whose feast we will celebrate December 30th (just at the threshold of the New Year), we realize that this is not the end of our faith journey but just the beginning.
As the New Year begins, there is an extended invitation addressed to each individual family as well as to our entire family of all our parishes to join Mary and Joseph in their journey of faith with Jesus. We cannot make a stop in our faith journey; we need to constantly grow in our relationship with God and with each other by imitating the Holy Family in our daily lives inspired by peace and love brought to us by baby Jesus.
I wish you all an abundance of God’s blessings on this beginning Year of Grace – 2017, invoking the intercessions of the Holy Family:
JESUS, Son of God and Son of Mary, bless our family. Graciously inspire in us the unity, peace, and mutual love that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth.
MARY, Mother of Jesus and our Mother, nourish our family with your faith and your love. Keep us close to your Son, Jesus, in all our sorrows and joys.
JOSEPH, Foster-father to Jesus, guardian and spouse of Mary, keep our family safe from harm. Help us in all times of discouragement or anxiety.
HOLY FAMILY OF NAZARETH, make our family one with you. Help us to be instruments of peace. Grant that love, strengthened by grace, may prove mightier than all the weaknesses and trials through which our families sometimes pass. May we always have God at the center of our hearts and homes until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with You. Amen.