Feast of the Holy Family

PRIEST:    As we draw near the end of this year we gather as a family of families … around the simplicity and poverty, the love and the faith of the Holy Family of Bethlehem and Nazareth.  Like too many families today, torn by poverty, oppression and war, Jesus’ family was far from trouble-free family life: trapped in poverty, homeless, fleeing for their lives into exile because of the fears of the powerful, destined to be refugees for years, growing up in the midst of a guerrilla war.  Yet we celebrate the wonder of God’s great confidence in us and in our families, entrusting His own Son to a family like ours, for Jesus to grow and develop into the power of love that He became.  In the midst of so many diverse forms of family life among us, let us rededicate ourselves to the task of love, recognising that our failures are forgiven…

READER:     The family is the school of love:
                           that we may replace harshness with forgiveness,
                           criticism with encouragement, deafness with sensitive listening

                                       LORD HAVE MERCY…

The family is called to be a healing community:
                              that we may care rather than judge, accept rather than reject,
cherish rather than take for granted

                                       CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

The family is called to be a place of prayer:
                              that Christ may be the centre of our homes, not on the edge,
                              that parents may be the first and best of teachers of their children
                              in the ways of faith,
                             that love may set all free to search and develop,
                             not criticism  to stifle and limit

                                       LORD HAVE MERCY…

PRIEST:      May our God who is family, Father, Son and Spirit,
                        bring mercy to our failures, fire to our love grown cold,
                      healing peace to our hurting hearts,
                      and renewed hope to the challenge of love and growth
                      bringing us all to everlasting life…