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Sunday, December 31, 2000

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Holy Family

Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14
Colossians 3:12-21
Psalm 128
Luke 2:41-52

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family ecology

Jesus "was submissive to them. His mother meanwhile kept all these things in memory. Jesus, for His part, progressed steadily in wisdom and age and grace before God and men." —Luke 2:51-52, our transl.

In the Christmas season, the Lord graces us to grow in love for Him even more deeply than at most other times of the year. We will receive this new and deeper love at Mass, through God's word, by witnessing for Jesus, by forgiving our enemies, and in many other ways. In trying to deepen our love for the members of our family, we will also grow in our love for the Lord.

The way to love your family more deeply is to be yourself, that is, to fulfill your God-given role in the family. Because God created families to be ecological, the various roles and dynamics of family life are intricately inter-related. For example, a single parent shouldn't try to be a "double-parent." Parents shouldn't try to be a peer to their children. While all people are called to be submissive on many occasions, wives are to be the main models of submission (see Eph 5:22). Otherwise, most people will not be submissive and will misunderstand submission, as is the case in the Western world today. Fathers are to take the greatest responsibility in making their children disciples of Christ. There are, of course, many other examples.

The Lord expects us only to be ourselves and to do our best. He will provide what is missing in the family. In being ourselves and doing our best in family life, we will know the depth of Christ's love in a new way this Christmas season (Eph 3:18). Try to be a holy family. Know a new love for Jesus.

Prayer:  Father, teach me the ecology of family life and love.

Promise:  "The Lord sets a father in honor over his children; a mother's authority He confirms over her sons." —Sir 3:2

Praise:  Praise Jesus, Son of the living God! Praise God our "Father from Whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name" (Eph 3:14-15).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, July 15, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 17, 2000