Feast of the Holy Family
The Feast of the Holy Family is a liturgical celebration in the Roman Catholic Church in honor of Jesus (the Son of God), his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and his foster father, St. Joseph, as a family. The Feast of the Holy Family is celebrated on the Sunday following Christmas, unless that Sunday is January 1st, in which case it is celebrated on December 30th.
This feast is an opportunity for all families to look to the Holy Family as their model and as their inspiration. Fathers, spend some time with the first two chapters of the Gospel of St. Matthew with particular interest in St. Joseph - what his role was, how he came to know it, what his challenges were in keeping the mandate of the Lord and what lengths he had to go in order to protect his family. And of course, women, the opportunity to look to the Blessed Mother. Both St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary are wonderful models for parents—but they are also advocates. They want so very much for you to be good parents and are ready with their intercession for you—if you will go to them.
Many of you are on vacations at this time of year so that you can spend time with family. Keep one another in prayer so that you can truly rejoice and enjoy being with family and not begin to allow the holiday blues to creep into your time together. Try to remember to enjoy one another’s company—play together, waste time together, celebrate the gift of family that God has given to you. As a family, gather and read from I Corinthians 12:12-14. Then share how each member of your family can cooperate with the whole to make the family more unified. After you have all shared call yourselves together again in intercessory prayer. Ask each family member to offer a prayer to God to help them live out the way they want to help the family. Finally, close your family prayer with
this (or a similar) prayer:
O God, we bless your name for sending your own incarnate Son
to become part of a family, so that, as he lived its life, he would
experience its worries and its joys. We ask you, Lord, to protect and
watch over our family, so that in the strength of your grace its members
may enjoy prosperity, possess the priceless gift of your peace,
and, as the Church alive in the home, bear witness in this world to
your glory. We ask this through Christ our Lord.