Sunday within Octave of Christmas
Mass Readings – Cycle A
1st Reading – Eccles 3:2-6;12-14
2nd Reading – Col 3:12-21
Gospel Mt 2:13-15;19-23

“Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you”.

Who better than Mary and Joseph, who made a home for the Incarnate Word, can teach us to welcome Jesus into our hearts and homes?
Mary and Joseph belonged heart and mind to those who waited expectantly to welcome the Messiah, belonged to the holy remnant foretold by the prophets.
“I will leave as a remnant in your midst a people humble and lowly, who shall take refuge in the name of the Lord: the remnant of Israel.
They shall do no wrong, and speak no lies, nor shall there be found in their mouths a deceitful tongue.
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem : Fear not, O Sion, be not discouraged! The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty Saviour; He will rejoice over you with gladness and renew you in his love. He will sing joyfully because of you, as one sings at festivals.

Mary and Joseph were imbued with this generous spirit, totally open to the work of God on the nothingness of their being totally trusting and surrendered to God’s plan.

‘Get up and take the Child and his Mother… So Joseph got up’. Twice, we are given these words in the short passage from the Gospel.

Who can doubt that Jesus mirrored the virtues taught at home – He went down to Nazareth and lived under their authority. Jesus increased in wisdom, in stature and in favour with God and men.

The reading from Ecclesiaticus also describes the obedient caring and loving son giving of his all to help his parents but notice God is already at work with his loving mercy. “Whoever respects his father is atoning for his sins’ and again, “kindness to a father shall not be forgotten but will serve as reparation for your sins”.

The readings of the Mass are a real antidote to the two seerious problems of our day – the disrespect for life – for each and every living person, the breaking up of family life, and secondly, the sad plight of so, so many refugees all over the world. But let us not lose hope as we ponder like Mary on the Word of God and bring these intentions before the throne of God. Every time we make an effort to reach God, in whatever way, there is an immediate energy on the part of God that rushes our way. (quoted from the ‘Gifts of the desert’).
“You are God’s chosen race, his saints, he loves you. Always be thankful”.

Everyone can be born again, the world can be renewed. It is possible to build a future of justice and peace starting today. As long as one is filled with hope that God, through us, is working to shape a new creation. (Christmas letter of the Master of the Dominican Order – Fr Bruno Cadore)