December 29, 2019 – The Holy Family

I.  Family Is Perfect: Mary, Joseph, and Jesus were a family deeply immersed in rituals and traditions of their people. In today’s Gospel we hear how they kept the feast of Passover by traveling to Jerusalem to celebrate this holy day. In our lives we are given a family and also the family of the Church, the People of God. In both our domestic family and our Church family, life can be messy but our relationships are strengthened through the celebration of rituals (family traditions). How might we invite more “rituals” (praying together, playing together, etc.) into the life of our families? How can our family be healthier?

II.  Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God is celebrated on the first day of our calendar year, January 1. One outstanding characteristic of Mary is her willingness to know and do God’s will—openness is required for this. She reflected and meditated on events that happened. In our busy lives today, we often overlook reflection, meditation, and prayer. Our Mass schedule at the Cathedral for this holyday on Wednesday, January 1, is 7:00am and 12:00 noon. As we begin this new calendar, why not keep this festival of Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the Church!

III. Peace as a Journey of Hope is the theme chosen for the Church’s 53rd celebration of World Day of Peace this January 1, 2020! “Peace, a journey of hope in the face of obstacles and trial. It’s a journey of listening based on memory, solidarity and fraternity.”  Pope Francis laments that the human community “bears the scars of ever more devastating wars and conflicts,” calling on Christians to reject systems of security, such as nuclear deterrence, built on fear of others. “Every war is a form of fratricide that destroys the human family’s innate vocation to brotherhood.” Pope Francis speaks, “The desire for peace lies deep within the human heart, and we should not resign ourselves to seeking anything less than this.” Dialogue, reconciliation, and ecological conversion are necessary for us to hopeful journey of peace.

IV.  Influential Convert to Catholicism: born into a wealthy Episcopalian family, Elizabeth Ann Seton lost her husband at an early age, leaving her with five small children. An Italian Catholic family sparked her interest in Catholicism, a commitment which was not well received by her husband’s family. Aware of the need for immigrants to be educated, she founded a girls’ school in Baltimore, which gave rise to the Catholic Parish school system in the USA. She was canonized a saint by Pope (Saint) Paul VI in 1975. The Church celebrates her feast day on Saturday, January 4th. Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us!  

V.  Epiphany Vespers & International Potluck: Everyone is invited to our seventh annual Epiphany Vespers at 4:30pm on Sunday (next Sunday), January 5th, in church, followed by a potluck in the Vaughan Community Center at 5:00pm. Please bring a dish from your country of origin! The parish will provide drinks, unless you would like to bring your own bottle of wine! The Magi—the soothsayers, seekers, searchers, kings—will journey into our midst with a traditional king cake! Taking a chance, like the Magi, gives us an opportunity for BUNCO. If you would like to assist in this fun gathering, contact the office, Hannah Bland or Crissy Stevenson. 270/683-6525. [email protected]