Fifth Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord
Memorial Feast: Saint Thomas Becket—(1117-+1170) Bishop, and Martyr, Patron Saint of Secular Clergy (priest and deacons who serve pastorally in parishes.)
1 John 2:3-11, Psalm 96:1-6, & Luke 2:22-35
I am always moved by the Gospel stories that illustrate the fidelity of the Holy Family as they observe the Jewish liturgical rituals. In the Gospel of Saint Luke, we hear about the "presentation" of Jesus in the temple. Most of us are familiar with this event, which is also the fourth 'Joyful' Mystery of the Holy Rosary. In Luke's Gospel, we heard how Jesus was conceived and the roles of Mary and Joseph in our Salvation history. Most of all, we have discovered the incredible closeness of the Holy Family. As Jews, Mary and Joseph are members of God's chosen people. In adherence to their Jewish heritage, Mary and Joseph present Jesus in the temple.
What can we ponder this day and learn from the Holy family? How easily our cultural individualism tempts us to disregard institutional religion by criticizing and ignoring its traditions and authority. We are often tempted to exempt ourselves from liturgical observances and, at best, to substitute personal devotion. We must never forget our relationship to God flows from our membership in His Church through our baptism and that our holiness flows from this identity.
Question of the Day: How do you resemble the Holy Family in your holiness and commitment to your Christian heritage?
Prayer: "Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!" (Psalm 96)