Creighton University's Online Ministries
Each day of the Christmas
Pope Francis' 2014 World Day of Peace message:
this second week
The Feast of the Holy Family is always celebrated on the Sunday after Christmas. What family or faith community can't benefit from reflecting upon the Holy Family? This is not the time to reflect upon a "perfect family," but to ask ourselves how we might be blessed to reflect upon Joseph, Mary and Jesus, and ask ourselves what graces they could offer us.
And, this allows us a bit more time to reflect upon the Christmas story, including the everyday reality that was part of their lives as family - the patience, give and take, the self-sacrifice and the love that was a part of their very human interaction together, throughout what we call "the hidden life" of Jesus. That can include all the growing up years of Jesus' life, what their village was like and what ways they spoke with each other, as well as what difficulties they might have experienced.
These are all great ways for us to contemplate this feast. We can imagine what Jesus learned from both Mary and Joseph that prepared him for his life of proclaiming the coming of the Reign of God. Finally, we can imagine the death of Joseph and the life of Mary and Jesus after his death.
Thursday, January 1st is the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God. It is also the World Day of Prayer for Peace, and since it is commemorating the naming day of Jesus, it is the feast from which the Society of Jesus takes its name.
Next week, we celebrate the Epiphany. We can draw great fruit from reflecting upon the readings and prayers of the days before Epiphany or the days after Epiphany.
But it is wonderful to pay attention to several themes throughout this week. The first letter of John fills this week with the language of God's love for us. This leads to simple, but deep, reflection on the love we must have for our brothers and sisters. The celebration of and preparation for Epiphany colors the week with images of light, and a number of themes related not only to revelation and seeing, but also to baptism itself. Throughout this week, we ask for graces and continue to celebrate with joy.
Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!