READINGS for 2006-12-31

Didache | Companion | Sabbath


Feast of the Holy Family


?After three days they found him?? ? Luke 2: 45-46

Today is the last day of another year. It is also a day dedicated to the Holy Family. Interestingly, the gospel tells us of the boy Jesus being lost ? for three days! But Joseph and Mary found him, and discovered He was becoming a newer person every day.
      As the year ends, we say goodbye to things we have lost. Some, very important. like a loved one. But some we really wanted to lose, like those extra folds in your tummy.
      I lost my eldest daughters years ago. They were twin beautiful, bubbly, 7.5 pound (each) angels. They were carried to a full 9-month term by my wife. But when they came out, instead of me carrying them to the nursery, I brought them straight to the morgue. They were lost. Gone. Even before they saw the light of day. Along with them, my wife and I lost a big part of ourselves too.
      But now we have a son. A child we love every bit and part of. A child we shall treasure until the last days of our lives. And rediscovering this love for him, we have rediscovered ourselves too. We are complete again. And somehow, we see our twin angels in heaven rejoicing with us too.
      Say goodbye? Say hello! And you are made whole again! Alvin B.

What are the things that you should bid farewell to in order to pave the way for something new?

Lord, grant me the grace to say goodbye and the hope and joy of saying hello again!



1 Samuel 1:20-22.24-28

Hannah is a faithful woman and as much as she would have liked to keep Samuel   with her, a promise is a promise. So she hands him over to the Lord for service  in the Temple. Little would she have known what an important role he was to have in the future of Israel, anointing both Kings Saul and David as well as providing much advice for them as a prophet or seer. In Hannah,we have a wonderful example of faithfulness and courage. Let us pray that we can learn something from her life.

20 She conceived, and at the end of her term bore a son whom she called Samuel, since she had asked the LORD for him. 21 The next time her husband Elkanah was going up with the rest of his household to offer the customary sacrifice to the LORD and to fulfill his vows, 22 Hannah did not go, explaining to her husband, ?Once the child is weaned, I will take him to appear before the LORD and to remain there forever; I will offer him as a perpetual nazirite.? 24 Once he was weaned, she brought him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and presented him at the temple of the LORD in Shiloh. 25 After the boy?s father had sacrificed the young bull, Hannah, his mother, approached Eli 26 and said ?Pardon, my lord! As you live my lord, I am the woman who stood near you here, praying to the LORD. 27 I prayed for this child, and the LORD granted my request. 28 Now I, in turn, give him to the LORD; as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the LORD.? She left him there.


Psalm 84:2-3, 5-6, 9-10

R: Blessed are they who dwell in your house, O Lord.

1 [2] How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! 2 [3] My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the LORD. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. (R) 4 [5] Happy they who dwell in your house! Continually they praise you. 5 [6] Happy the men whose strength you are! Their hearts are set upon the pilgrimage. (R) 8 [9] O LORD of hosts, hear our prayer; hearken, O God of Jacob! 9 [10] O God, behold our shield, and look upon the face of your anointed. (R)

1 John 3:1-2, 21-24

Christians will always be in some conflict with the secular powers of the state in that our priorities are always somewhat different. This does not mean that there has to be a large and ongoing conflict. But we should be alert for the time when we will be called to make a stand when the state seeks to introduce laws or demand from its people something that is contrary to the teaching of the Gospel. This is our duty both as Christians and contributing members of society. Here, our duties to both coincide that it is for the sake of these duties that we will stand against the immorality that is sometimes advocated or tolerated by the state.

1 See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God?s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 21 Beloved, if [our] hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence in God 22 and receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 And his commandment is this: we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another just as he commanded us. 24 Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them, and the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit that he gave us.


Luke 2:41-52

Let us pray today for all families that each member will grow in love for one another and that each would have the strength and grace to fulfill all that it means to be members of one family. The health of a society can be directly measured by the health of the family unit since that is the basic building block of society. Let us also pray that the governments of the world will enact laws that protect the rights of the family and promote its growth by enacting laws that will support the basic family structure.

41 Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, 42 and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. 43 After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. 44 Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, 45 but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, 47 and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, ?Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.? 49 And he said to them, ?Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father?s house?? 50 But they did not understand what he said to them. 51 He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus advanced [in] wisdom and age and favor before God and man.

my reflections
The health of a society can be directly measured by the health of the family unit.


God?s special verse/thought for me today________________


Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________




My weekly time with God


Things to be grateful for from the past week





Things to ask God for in the coming week





Most important word God told me this week





Did I fulfill my last Quarter Goals?



What were the most important words the Lord gave to me this quarter?



What were my greatest blessings these past three months?



What are my most pressing needs for the next quarter?









Feast of the Holy Family


On the last day of this year, our focus is fixed on the family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Theirs is the Holy Family. But being the holy family, their family was not spared from pain and sorrow. Today?s Gospel proves this point.
      The lost of Jesus in the Temple caused great sorrow to Mary and Joseph. One trusted Jesus was with the other as Mary and Joseph make their journey back home to Nazareth. But he was not. He decided to stay behind doing His Father?s business. What parent will not be distressed in such a situation?
      When the missing Son was seen by His parents in the Temple, the mother ran towards the Child with a clenched fist, ready to strike Him down in fury, shouting with her lungs out and cursing the Boy. Right? No, not with the family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.    When Mary and Joseph saw Jesus in the Temple, they went towards Him and Mary calmly, but still with great sorrow, inquired about their Son?s action. They did not scold Jesus, who, though Son of God, was still their Child anyway. Joseph did not shout, ?From now on You are grounded!? Mary did not hit the Child. The Child did not raise His voice in disrespect to His parents. Even in distress and in the most tensed situation, the Holy Family remained a Loving Family. That is also the reason why the Holy Family is a Lovely Family.
       Holiness is the perfection of love. The more loving we are to one another in the family, the holier our family becomes. Holy families are loving and lovely families at all times and in any circumstance. Holy families are not families spared from distress and pain. They are families where sorrows and disagreements are not taken as excuses for loving less and loving no more.
     We keep our eyes fixed on the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. We consecrate our families to them. May we love as they love. May our families be holy too. Fr. Bobby T.

Is there real love in my family? Is my family holy?

?Father, help us to live as the Holy Family, united in respect and love. Bring us to the joy and peace of our eternal home. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 St. Sylvester I, pope confessor, pray for us.

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