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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Holy Family (A)

1st Reading (Sir 3,2-6.12-14): God sets a father in honor over his children; a mother's authority he confirms over her sons. Whoever honors his father atones for sins, and preserves himself from them. When he prays, he is heard; he stores up riches who reveres his mother. Whoever honors his father is gladdened by children, and, when he prays, is heard. Whoever reveres his father will live a long life; he who obeys his father brings comfort to his mother. My son, take care of your father when he is old; grieve him not as long as he lives. Even if his mind fail, be considerate of him; revile him not all the days of his life; kindness to a father will not be forgotten, firmly planted against the debt of your sins —a house raised in justice to you.
Responsorial Psalm: 127
R/. Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.
Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways! For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; blessed shall you be, and favored.

Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the recesses of your home; your children like olive plants around your table.

Behold, thus is the man blessed who fears the Lord. The Lord bless you from Zion: may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.
2nd Reading (Col 3:12-21): Brothers and sisters: Put on, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Wives, be subordinate to your husbands, as is proper in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and avoid any bitterness toward them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, so they may not become discouraged.
Versicle before the Gospel (Col 3:15a.16a): Alleluia. Let the peace of Christ control your hearts; let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Mt 2,13-15.19-23): After the wise men had left, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph and said, «Get up, take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, for Herod will soon be looking for the child in order to kill him». Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and left that night for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. In this way, what the Lord had said through the prophet was fulfilled: ‘I called my son out of Egypt’.

After Herod's death, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph and said, «Get up, take the child and his mother and go back to the land of Israel, because those who tried to kill the child are dead». So Joseph got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when Joseph heard that Archilaus had succeeded his father Herod as king of Judea, he was afraid to go there. He was given further instructions in a dream, and went to the region of Galilee. There he settled in a town called Nazareth. In this way what was said by the prophets was fulfilled: «He shall be called a Nazorean».

«Get up, take the child and his mother and go back to the land of Israel»

Fr. Joan Ant. MATEO i García
(La Fuliola, Lleida, Spain)

Today, we contemplate the mystery of the Holy Family. The Son of God begins his path through men in the midst of a plain family. It is the Father's design. The family will always be the irreplaceable human habitat. Jesus has a legal father that “carries” him and a Mother that is always by his side. God always used St. Joseph, a just man, faithful husband and responsible father, to protect the Family of Nazareth: «An angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you’» (Mt 2:13).

Today, more than ever before, the Church is expected to proclaim the good news of the Gospel of the Family and of life. Today, more than ever before, a deep inhuman culture trumpets, while trying to inflict it upon us, their anti-gospel of confusion and death. In John Paul II's postsynodal apostolic exhortation, Ecclesia in Europa, he reminds us: «The Church (…) must faithfully proclaim anew the truth about marriage and the family. She sees this as burning need, for she knows that this task is integral to the mission of evangelization entrusted to her by her Bridegroom and Lord, and imposes itself today with unusual force. Many cultural, social and political factors are in fact conspiring to create an increasingly evident crisis of the family. In varying ways they jeopardize the truth and dignity of the human person, and call into question, often misrepresenting it, the notion of the family itself. The value of marital indissolubility is increasingly denied; demands are made for the legal recognition of de facto relationships as if they were comparable to legitimate marriages...!».

«Herod will soon be looking for the child in order to kill him» (Mt 2:13). Once again, Herod is striking, but we are not to be afraid, for God's help is not lacking in our life. Let us go to Nazareth. Let us rediscover the truth about the family and about life. Let us live it up joyfully and let us proclaim it to our brothers thirsty for light and hope. The Pope invites us to: «It is necessary to reaffirm that these institutions [marriage and family] are realities grounded in the will of God. Furthermore, it is necessary to serve the Gospel of life».

And, again, «an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph and said: ‘Get up, take the child and his mother and go back to the land of Israel’» (Mt 2:19-20). The return from Egypt is imminent!