Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings 30-December-2022; Holy Family
Posted on 12/29/2022 5:16:43 PM PST by annalex
The Holy Family
Church of the Holy Family, Chicago, IL
Readings at Mass
Liturgical Colour: White. Year: A(I).
When a Feast of the Lord is celebrated on a weekday there is only one reading before the Gospel, which may be chosen from either the first or second reading.
He who fears the Lord respects his parents
The Lord honours the father in his children,
and upholds the rights of a mother over her sons.
Whoever respects his father is atoning for his sins,
he who honours his mother is like someone amassing a fortune.
Whoever respects his father will be happy with children of his own,
he shall be heard on the day when he prays.
Long life comes to him who honours his father,
he who sets his mother at ease is showing obedience to the Lord.
My son, support your father in his old age,
do not grieve him during his life.
Even if his mind should fail, show him sympathy,
do not despise him in your health and strength;
for kindness to a father shall not be forgotten
but will serve as reparation for your sins.
O blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways!
O blessed are those who fear the Lord
and walk in his ways!
By the labour of your hands you shall eat.
You will be happy and prosper.
O blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways!
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
in the heart of your house;
your children like shoots of the olive,
around your table.
O blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways!
Indeed thus shall be blessed
the man who fears the Lord.
May the Lord bless you from Zion
all the days of your life!
O blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways!
When a Feast of the Lord falls on a weekday, there is no reading after the Psalm and before the Gospel.
May the peace of Christ reign in your hearts;
let the message of Christ find a home with you.
The flight into Egypt and the return to Nazareth
After the wise men had left, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother with you, and escape into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, because Herod intends to search for the child and do away with him.’ So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, left that night for Egypt, where he stayed until Herod was dead. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken through the prophet:
I called my son out of Egypt.
After Herod’s death, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother with you and go back to the land of Israel, for those who wanted to kill the child are dead.’ So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, went back to the land of Israel. But when he learnt that Archelaus had succeeded his father Herod as ruler of Judaea he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he left for the region of Galilee. There he settled in a town called Nazareth. In this way the words spoken through the prophets were to be fulfilled:
‘He will be called a Nazarene.’
Each day, The Christian Art website gives a picture and reflection on the Gospel of the day.
The readings on this page are from the Jerusalem Bible, which is used at Mass in most of the English-speaking world. The New American Bible readings, which are used at Mass in the United States, are available in the Universalis apps, programs and downloads.
Note the date.
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|English: Douay-Rheims||Latin: Vulgata Clementina||Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)|
|13.||And after they were departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy him.||Qui cum recessissent, ecce angelus Domini apparuit in somnis Joseph, dicens : Surge, et accipe puerum, et matrem ejus, et fuge in Ægyptum, et esto ibi usque dum dicam tibi. Futurum est enim ut Herodes quærat puerum ad perdendum eum.||αναχωρησαντων δε αυτων ιδου αγγελος κυριου φαινεται κατ οναρ τω ιωσηφ λεγων εγερθεις παραλαβε το παιδιον και την μητερα αυτου και φευγε εις αιγυπτον και ισθι εκει εως αν ειπω σοι μελλει γαρ ηρωδης ζητειν το παιδιον του απολεσαι αυτο|
|14.||Who arose, and took the child and his mother by night, and retired into Egypt: and he was there until the death of Herod:||Qui consurgens accepit puerum et matrem ejus nocte, et secessit in Ægyptum :||ο δε εγερθεις παρελαβεν το παιδιον και την μητερα αυτου νυκτος και ανεχωρησεν εις αιγυπτον|
|15.||That it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: Out of Egypt have I called my son.||et erat ibi usque ad obitum Herodis : ut adimpleretur quod dictum est a Domino per prophetam dicentem : Ex Ægypto vocavi filium meum.||και ην εκει εως της τελευτης ηρωδου ινα πληρωθη το ρηθεν υπο του κυριου δια του προφητου λεγοντος εξ αιγυπτου εκαλεσα τον υιον μου|
|19.||But when Herod was dead, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph in Egypt,||Defuncto autem Herode, ecce angelus Domini apparuit in somnis Joseph in Ægypto,||τελευτησαντος δε του ηρωδου ιδου αγγελος κυριου κατ οναρ φαινεται τω ιωσηφ εν αιγυπτω|
|20.||Saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel. For they are dead that sought the life of the child.||dicens : Surge, et accipe puerum, et matrem ejus, et vade in terram Israël : defuncti sunt enim qui quærebant animam pueri.||λεγων εγερθεις παραλαβε το παιδιον και την μητερα αυτου και πορευου εις γην ισραηλ τεθνηκασιν γαρ οι ζητουντες την ψυχην του παιδιου|
|21.||Who arose, and took the child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.||Qui consurgens, accepit puerum, et matrem ejus, et venit in terram Israël.||ο δε εγερθεις παρελαβεν το παιδιον και την μητερα αυτου και ηλθεν εις γην ισραηλ|
|22.||But hearing that Archelaus reigned in Judea in the room of Herod his father, he was afraid to go thither: and being warned in sleep retired into the quarters of Galilee.||Audiens autem quod Archelaus regnaret in Judæa pro Herode patre suo, timuit illo ire : et admonitus in somnis, secessit in partes Galilææ.||ακουσας δε οτι αρχελαος βασιλευει επι της ιουδαιας αντι ηρωδου του πατρος αυτου εφοβηθη εκει απελθειν χρηματισθεις δε κατ οναρ ανεχωρησεν εις τα μερη της γαλιλαιας|
|23.||And coming he dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was said by prophets: That he shall be called a Nazarene.||Et veniens habitavit in civitate quæ vocatur Nazareth : ut adimpleretur quod dictum est per prophetas : Quoniam Nazaræus vocabitur.||και ελθων κατωκησεν εις πολιν λεγομενην ναζαρετ οπως πληρωθη το ρηθεν δια των προφητων οτι ναζωραιος κληθησεται|
13. And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young Child and His mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.
14. When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
15. And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my Son.
RABANUS. Here Matthew omits the day of purification when the first-born must be presented in the Temple with a lamb, or a pair of turtle doves, or pigeons. Their fear of Herod did not make them bold to transgress the Law, that they should not present the Child in the temple. As soon then as the rumour concerning the Child begins to be spread abroad, the Angel is sent to bid Joseph carry Him into Egypt.
REMIGIUS. By this that the Angel appears always to Joseph in sleep, is mystically signified that they who rest from mundane cares and secular pursuits, deserve angelic visitations.
HILARY. The first time when he would teach Joseph that she was lawfully espoused, the Angel called the Virgin his espoused wife; but after the birth she is only spoken of as the Mother of Jesus. As wedlock was rightfully imputed to her in her virginity, so virginity is esteemed venerable in her as the mother of Jesus.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. He says not, ‘the Mother and her young Child,’ but, the young Child and His mother; for the Child was not born for the mother, but the mother prepared for the Child. How is this that the Son of God flies from the face of man? or who shall deliver from the enemy’s hand, if He Himself fears His enemies? First; He ought to observe, even in this, the law of that human nature which He took on Him; and human nature and infancy must flee before threatening power. Next, that Christians when persecution makes it necessary should not be ashamed to fly. But why into Egypt? The Lord, who keepeth not His anger for ever, remembered the woes He had brought upon Egypt, and therefore sent His Son thither, and gives it this sign of great reconciliation, that with this one remedy He might heal the ten plagues of Egypt, and the nation that had been the persecutor of this first-born people, might be the guardian of His first-born Son. As formerly they had cruelly tyrannized, now they might devoutly serve; nor go to the Red Sea to be drowned, but be called to the waters of baptism to receive life.
AUGUSTINE. (Serm. 218. App.) Hear the sacrament of a great mystery. Moses before had shut up the light of day from the traitors the Egyptians; Christ by going down thither brought back light to them that sate in darkness. He fled that he might enlighten them, not that he might escape his foes.
AUGUSTINE. The miserable tyrant supposed that by the Saviour’s coming he should be thrust from his royal throne. But it was not so; Christ came not to hurt others’ dignity, but to bestow His own on others.
HILARY. Egypt full of idols; for after this enquiry for Him among the Jews, Christ leaving Judæa goes to be cherished among nations given to the vainest superstitions.
JEROME. When he takes the Child and His mother to go into Egypt, it is in the night and darkness, when to return into Judæa, the Gospel speaks of no light, no darkness.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. The straitness of every persecution may be called night—the relief from it in like manner, day.
RABANUS. For when the true light withdraws, they who hate the light are in darkness, when it returns they are again enlightened.
CHRYSOSTOM. See how immediately on His birth the tyrant is furious against Him, and the mother with her Child is driven into foreign lands. So should you in the beginning of your spiritual career seem to have tribulation, you need not to be discouraged, but bear all things manfully, having this example.
BEDE. (Hom. in. Nat. Innocent.) The flight into Egypt signifies that the elect are often by the wickedness of the bad driven from their homes, or sentenced to banishment. Thus He, who, we shall see below, gave the command to His own, When they shall persecute you in one city, flee ye to another, first practised what He enjoined, as a man flying before the face of man on earth. He whom but a little before a star had proclaimed to the Magi to be worshipped as from heaven.
REMIGIUS. Isaiah had foretold this flight into Egypt. Lo! the Lord shall ascend on a light cloud, and shall come into Egypt, and shall scatter the idols of Egypt. (Is. 19:1.) It is the practice of this Evangelist to confirm all he says; and that because he is writing to the Jews, therefore he adds, that it might be fulfilled, &c.
JEROME. (Epist. 57.7.) This is not in the LXX; but in Osee according to the genuine Hebrew text we read; Israel is my child, and I have loved him, and, from Egypt have I called my Son; where the LXX render, Israel is my child, and I have loved him, and called my sons out of Egypt.
JEROME. (In Osee 11:2.) The Evangelist cites this text, because it refers to Christ typically. For it is to be observed, that in this Prophet and in others, the coming of Christ and the call of the Gentiles are foreshewn in such a manner, that the thread of history is never broken.
CHRYSOSTOM. It is a law of prophecy, that in a thousand places many things are said of some and fulfilled of others. As it is said of Simeon and Levi, I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel; (Gen. 49:7.) which was fulfilled not in themselves, but in their descendants. So here Christ is by nature the Son of God, and so the prophecy is fulfilled in Him.
JEROME. Let those who deny the authenticity of the Hebrew copies, shew us this passage in the LXX, and when they have failed to find it, we will shew it them in the Hebrew. We may also explain it in another way, by considering it as quoted from Numbers, God brought him out of Egypt; his glory is as it were that of a unicorn. (Num. 23:22.)
REMIGIUS. In Joseph is figured the order of preachers, in Mary Holy Scripture; by the Child the knowledge of the Saviour; by the cruelty of Herod the persecution which the Church suffered in Jerusalem; by Joseph’s flight into Egypt the passing of the preachers to the unbelieving Gentiles, (for Egypt signifies darkness;) by the time that he abode in Egypt the space of time between the ascension of the Lord and the coming of Anti Christ; by Herod’s death the extinction of jealousy in the hearts of the Jews.
19. But when Herod was dead, behold, an Angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
20. Saying, Arise, and take the young Child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel; for they are dead which sought the young Child’s life.
EUSEBIUS. (Eccles. Hist. i. 8.) For the sacrilege which Herod had committed against the Saviour, and his wicked slaughter of the infants of the same age, the Divine vengeance hastened his end; and his body, as Josephus relates, was attacked by a strange disease; so that the prophets declared that they were not human ailments, but visitations of Divine vengeance. Filled with mad fury, he gives command to seize and imprison the heads and nobles out of all parts of Judæa; ordering that as soon as ever he should breathe his last, they should be all put to death, that so Judæa though unwillingly might mourn at his decease. Just before he died he murdered his son Antipater, (besides two boys put to death before, Alexander and Aristobulus.) Such was the end of Herod, noticed in those words of the Evangelist, when Herod was dead, and such the punishment inflicted.
JEROME. Many here err from ignorance of history, supposing the Herod who mocked our Lord on the day of His passion, and the Herod whose death is here related, were the same. But the Herod who was then made friends with Pilate was son of this Herod and brother to Archelaus; for Archelaus was banished to Lyons in Gaul, and his father Herod made king in his room, as we read in Josephus.
PSEUDO-DIONYSIUS. (De Cæl. Hierarch. 4.) See how Jesus Himself, though far above all celestial beings, and coming unchanged to our nature, shunned not that ordinance of humanity which He had taken on Him, but was obedient to the dispositions of His Father made known by Angels. For even by Angels is declared to Joseph the retreat of the Son into Egypt, so ordained of the Father, and His return again to Judæa.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. See how Joseph was set for ministering to Mary; when she went into Egypt and returned, who would have fulfilled to her this so needful ministry, had she not been betrothed? For to outward view Mary nourished and Joseph defended the Child; but in truth the Child supported His mother and protected Joseph. Return into the land of Israel; for He went down into Egypt as a physician, not to abide there, but to succour it sick with error. But the reason of the return is given in the words, They are dead, &c.
JEROME. From this we see that not Herod only, but also the Priests and Scribes had sought the Lord’s death at that time.
REMIGIUS. But if they were many who sought his destruction, how came they all to have died in so short a time? As we have related above, all the great men among the Jews were slain at Herod’s death.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. And that is said to have been done by the counsel of God for their conspiring with Herod against the Lord; as it is said, Herod was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
REMIGIUS. Or the Evangelist uses a figure of speech, by which the plural is used for the singular. These words, the Child’s life, (or soul, i. e. the Apollinarians.) overthrow those heretics who taught that Christ did not take a soul, but had His Divinity in place of a soul.
BEDE. (Hom. in Nat. Innoc.) This slaughter of the infants for the Lord’s sake, the death of Herod soon after, and Joseph’s return with the Lord and his mother to the land of Israel, is a figure shewing that all the persecutions moved against the Church will be avenged by the death of the persecutor, peace restored to the Church, and the saints who had concealed themselves return to their own places. Or the return of Jesus to the land of Israel on the death of Herod shews, that, at the preaching of Enoch and Elijahc, the Jews, when the fire of modern jealousy shall be extinguished, shall receive the true faith.
21. And he arose, and took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.
22. But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judæa in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:
23. And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.
GLOSS. Joseph was not disobedient to the angelic warning, but he arose, and took the young Child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. The Angel had not fixed the particular place, so that while Joseph hesitates, the Angel returns, and by the often visiting him confirms his obedience.
JOSEPHUS. Herod had nine wives, by seven of whom he had a numerous issue. By Josida, his first born Antipater—by Mariamine, Alexander and Aristobulus—by Mathuca, a Samaritan woman, Archelaus—by Cleopatra of Jerusalem, Herod, who was afterwards tetrarch, and Philip. The three first were put to death by Herod; and after his death, Archelaus seized the throne by occasion of his father’s will, and the question of the succession was carried before Augustus Cæsar. After some delay, he made a distribution of the whole of Herod’s dominions in accordance with the Senate’s advice. To Archelaus he assigned one half, consisting of Idumæa and Judæa, with the title of tetrarch, and a promise of that of king if he shewed himself deserving of it. The rest he divided into two tetrarchates, giving Galilee to Herod the tetrarch, Ituræa and Trachonitis to Philip. Thus Archelaus was after his father’s death a duarch, which kind of sovereignty is here called a kingdom.
AUGUSTINE. (De Con. Evan. ii. 10.) Here it may be asked, How then could his parents go up every year of Christ’s childhood to Jerusalem, as Luke relates, if fear of Archelaus now prevented them from approaching it? This difficulty is easily solved. At the festival they might escape notice in the crowd, and by returning soon, where in ordinary times they might be afraid to live. So they neither became irreligious by neglecting the festival, nor notorious by dwelling continually in Jerusalem. Or it is open to us to understand Luke when he says, they went up every year, as speaking of a time when they had nothing to fear from Archelaus, who, as Josephus relates, reigned only nine years. There is yet a difficulty in what follows; Being warned in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee. If Joseph was afraid to go into Judæa because one of Herod’s sons, Archelaus, reigned there, how could he go into Galilee, where another of his sons Herod was tetrarch, as Luke tells us? As if the times of which Luke is speaking were times in which there was any longer need to fear for the Child, when even in Judæa things were so changed, that Archelaus no longer ruled there, but Pilate was governor.
GLOSS. (ord.) But then we might ask, why was he not afraid to go into Galilee, seeing Archelaus ruled there also? He could be better concealed in Nazareth than in Jerusalem, which was the capital of the kingdom, and where Archelaus was constantly resident.
CHRYSOSTOM. And when he had once left the country of His birth, all the occurrences passed out of mind; the rage of persecution had been spent in Bethlehem and its neighbourhood. By choosing Nazareth therefore, Joseph both avoided danger, and returned to his country.
AUGUSTINE. (De Con. Evan. ii. 9.) This may perhaps occur to some, that Matthew says His parents went with the Child Jesus to Galilee because they feared Archelaus, when it should seem most probable that they chose Galilee because Nazareth was their own city, as Luke has not forgot to mention. We must understand, that when the Angel in the vision in Egypt said to Joseph, Go into the land of Israel, Joseph understood the command to be that he should go straight into Judæa, that being properly the land of Israel. But finding Archelaus ruling there, he would not court the danger, as the land of Israel might be interpreted to extend to Galilee, which was inhabited by children of Israel. Or we may suppose His parents supposed that Christ should dwell no where but in Jerusalem, where was the temple of the Lord, and would have gone thither had not the fear of Archelaus hindered them. And they had not been commanded from God to dwell positively in Judæa, or Jerusalem, so as that they should have despised the fear of Archelaus, but only in the land of Israel generally, which they might understand of Galilee.
HILARY. But the figurative interpretation holds good any way. Joseph represents the Apostles, to whom Christ is entrusted to be borne about. These, as though Herod were dead, that is, his people being destroyed in the Lord’s passion, are commanded to preach the Gospel to the Jews; they are sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. But finding the seed of their hereditary unbelief still abiding, they fear and withdraw; admonished by a vision, to wit, seeing the Holy Ghost poured upon the Gentiles, they carry Christ to them.
RABANUS. Or, we may apply it to the last times of the Jewish Church, when many Jews having turned to the preaching of Enoch and Elijah, the rest filled with the spirit of Antichrist shall fight against the faith. So that part of Judæa where Archelaus rules, signifies the followers of Antichrist; Nazareth of Galilee, whither Christ is conveyed, that part of the nation that shall embrace the faith. Galilee means ‘removal;’ Nazareth, ‘the flower of virtues;’ for the Church the more zealously she removes from the earthly to the heavenly, the more she abounds in the flower and fruit of virtues.
GLOSS. To this he adds the Prophet’s testimony, saying, That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Prophets, &c.
JEROME. Had he meant to quote a particular text, he would not have written ‘Prophets,’ but ‘the Prophet.’ By thus using the plural he evidently does not take the words of any one passage in Scripture, but the sense of the whole. Nazarene is interpreted ‘Holyd,’ and that the Lord would be Holy, all Scripture testifies. Otherwise we may explain that it is found in Isaiah (c. 11:1.) rendered to the strict letter of the Hebrew. There shall come a Rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Nazarene shall grow out of His rootse.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. They might have read this in some Prophets who are not in our canon, as Nathan or Esdras. That there was some prophecy to this purport is clear from what Philip says to Nathanael. Him of whom Moses in the Law and the Prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth. (John 1:15.) Hence the Christians were at first called Nazarenes, at Antioch their name was changed to that of ‘Christians.’
AUGUSTINE. (De Con. Evan. ii. 5.) The whole of this history, from the account of the Magi inclusively, Luke omits. Let it be here noticed once for all, that each of the Evangelists writes as if he were giving a full and complete history, which omits nothing; where he really passes over any thing, he continues his thread of history as if he had told all. Yet by a diligent comparison of their several narratives, we can be at no loss to know where to insert any particular that is mentioned by one and not by the other.
Catena Aurea Matthew 2
Saint Egwin’s Story
You say you’re not familiar with today’s saint? Chances are you aren’t—unless you’re especially informed about Benedictine bishops who established monasteries in medieval England.
Born in the seventh century of royal blood, Egwin entered a monastery, and was enthusiastically received by royalty, clergy, and the people as the bishop of Worcester, England. As a bishop he was known as a protector of orphans and the widowed and a fair judge. Who could argue with that?
His popularity didn’t hold up among members of the clergy, however. They saw him as overly strict, while he felt he was simply trying to correct abuses and impose appropriate disciplines. Bitter resentments arose, and Egwin made his way to Rome to present his case to Pope Constantine. The case against Egwin was examined and annulled.
Upon his return to England, Egwin founded Evesham Abbey, which became one of the great Benedictine houses of medieval England. It was dedicated to Mary, who had reportedly made it known to Egwin just where a church should be built in her honor.
Egwin died at the abbey on December 30, 717. Following his burial many miracles were attributed to him: The blind could see, the deaf could hear, the sick were healed.
Correcting abuses and faults is never an easy job, not even for a bishop. Egwin attempted to correct and build up the clergy in his diocese and it earned him the wrath of his priests. When we are called to correct someone or some group, plan on opposition, but also know that it might be the right thing to do.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)
From: Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14
Duties Towards Parents
 For the Lord honored the father above the children, and he confirmed the right of the mother over her sons.  Whoever honors his father atones for sins,  and whoever glorifies his mother is like one who lays up treasure.  Whoever honors his father will he gladdened by his own children, and when he prays he will he heard.  Whoever glorifies his father will have long life, and whoever obeys the Lord will refresh his mother.
 0 son, help your father in his old age, and do not grieve him as long as he lives;  even if he is lacking in understanding, show forbearance; in all your strength do not despise him.  For kindness to a father will not be forgotten, and against your sins it will be credited to you
3:1-16:23. Throughout the book each doctrinal passage is followed by a section to do with practical applications, sapiential thoughts on moral conduct, eulogies of virtues and sapiential advice on where to seek things that are truly good, etc. This is the first such section. In it the reader will find an exhortation to prudence in all its various forms.
3:1-16. Traditional wisdom encourages people to be observant and to reflect on life in order to discover the best route to happiness. Here it focuses on the relationship between children and their parents: honoring one’s parents brings blessings.
However, Ben Sirach’s viewpoint is primarily a religious one. “Whoever fears the Lord will honor his father” (v. 7, RSV note m). The Decalogue laid this down very clearly: “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you; that your day may be prolonged, and that it may go well with you, in the land ...“ (Deut 5:16; cf. Ex 20:12), and these verses are a valuable commentary that is generous in its praise of those who attend to that commandment. Very appropriately, the Church uses these verses as the first reading on the feast of the Holy Family, for God honors Mary and St Joseph by entrusting Jesus to their care.
Finally (cf. vv. 12-26), the passage dwells on children’s duties to their parents when they can no longer look after themselves: The fourth commandment reminds grown children of their "responsibilities toward their parents". As much as they can, they must give them material and moral support in old age and in times of illness, loneliness or distress. Jesus recalls this duty of gratitude (cf. Mk 7:10-12)” ("Catechism of the Catholic Church", 2218).
From: Colossians 3:12-21
Progress in the Spiritual Life
 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience,  forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as you teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Morals in Family Life
 Wives, be subject to your husband as is fitting in the Lord.  Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.  Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.  Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
12-13. Putting on the new nature is not just an external action, like putting on different clothes. It is a transfiguration involving the whole person--soul and body, mind and will. This interior change begins to operate when one makes a firm resolution to lead a fully Christian life; but it calls for an on-going effort, day in day out, to practice all the virtues. "Conversion is something momentary; sanctification is the work of a lifetime. The divine seed of charity, which God has sown in our souls, wants to grow, to express itself in action, to yield results which continually coincide with what God wants. Therefore, we must be ready to begin again, to find again--in new situations—the light and the stimulus of our first conversion" (St J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 58).
The virtues which the Apostle lists here as characteristic of the new man are all expressions, in one way or another, of charity, which "binds everything together in total harmony" (v. 14). Meekness, patience, forgiveness and gratefulness all reflect an essential virtue --humility. Only a humble person can be forgiving and truly appreciative, because only he realizes that everything he has comes from God. This realization leads him to be understanding towards his neighbor, forgiving him as often as needs be; by acting in this way he is proving the genuineness of his faith and love.
See the note on Eph 4:20-24.
14. The comparison of the new nature to a new outfit is extended here by a further metaphor: charity is the belt which keeps everything together. Without it the other virtues would fall apart: supernatural virtue could not survive (cf. 1 Cor 13:1-3). St Francis de Sales uses simple examples to explain this truth: "Without cement and mortar, which knits the bricks together and strengthens the walls, the entire building is bound to collapse; a human body would simply disintegrate unless it had nerves, muscles and tendons; and if charity were absent, virtues simply could not stay together" (St Francis de Sales, "Treatise on the Love of God", 11, 9).
"Love, as the bond of perfection and fullness of the law (cf. Col 3:14; Rom 13:10), governs, imbues, and perfects all the means of sanctification" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 42). Therefore, "if we want to achieve holiness--in spite of personal shortcomings and miseries which will last as long as we live--we must make an effort, with God's grace, to practice charity, which is the fullness of the law and the bond of perfection. Charity is not something abstract, it entails a real, complete, self-giving to the service of God and all men --to the service of that God who speaks to us in the silence of prayer and in the hubbub of the world and of those people whose existence is interwoven with our own. By living charity--Love--we live all the human and supernatural virtues required of a Christian" ([St] J. Escriva, "Conversations", 62).
15. The "peace of Christ" is that which flows from the new order of grace which he has established; grace gives man direct access to God and therefore to that peace he so much yearns for. "Thou has made us for thyself and our hearts are restless till they rest in thee" (St Augustine, "Confessions", 1, 1). This is not a peace the world can give (cf. Jn 14:27), because it is not a function of purely material progress or well-being, nor does it derive from the sort of peace that should obtain among nations. "Peace on earth, which men of every era have most eagerly yearned for, can be firmly established only if the order laid down by God is dutifully observed" (John XXIII, "Pacem In Terris", 1).
The peace of Christ, then, is "a peace that comes from knowing that our Father God loves us, and that we are made one with Christ. It results from being under the protection of the Virgin, our Lady, and assisted by St Joseph. This is the great light that illuminates our lives. In the midst of difficulties and of our personal failings, it encourages us to keep up our effort" (St J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 22).
16. "The word of Christ": the whole corpus of our Lord's teachings, of which the Apostles are accredited witnesses. This should be ever-present to the Christian's soul and "dwell...richly" in him, imbuing everything he does: the word of Christ is the best nourishment of one's life of prayer and an inexhaustible source of practical teaching; and it is to be found in the first instance in the books of the New Testament. St John Chrysostom says that these writings "are teachers which never cease to instruct us [...]. Open these books. What a treasury of good remedies they contain! [...]. All you need do is look at the book, read it and remember well the wise teachings therein. The source of all our evils is our ignorance of the sacred books" ("Hom. on Col, ad loc.").
St Paul also reminds us that our appreciation should lead us to glorify the Lord with songs of joy and gratitude. We can use ready-made hymns for this purpose, and also the Psalms, which the Church has always used in its liturgy to praise God and to nourish the spiritual life. "Just as the mouth savors good food, so does the heart savor the Psalms" (St Bernard, "Sermons on the Song of Songs", 7, 5).
See the note on Eph 5:19.
17. All genuinely human things can and should be sanctified (cf. 1 Cor 10:31), by being done perfectly and for love of God.
The Second Vatican Council has recalled this teaching: "Lay people [...], while meeting their human obligations in the ordinary conditions of life, should not separate their union with Christ from their ordinary life; through the very performance of their tasks, which are God's will for them, they actually promote the growth of their union with him. This is the path along which lay people must advance, fervently, joyfully" ("Apostolicam Actuositatem", 4).
This teaching was very much part of the message and life of the founder of Opus Dei: "I assure you, my children, that when a Christian carries out with love the most insignificant everyday action, that action overflows with the transcendence of God. That is why I have told you repeatedly, and hammered away once and again on the idea, that the Christian vocation consists in making heroic verse out of the prose of each day. Heaven and earth seem to merge, my children, on the horizon. But where they really meet is in your hearts, when you sanctify your everyday lives" ("Conversations", 116).
The Second Vatican Council also sees in this passage of Colossians a basis for ecumenical dialogue with non-Catholics: "And if in moral matters there are many Christians who do not always understand the Gospel in the same way as Catholics, and do not admit the same solutions for the more difficult problems of modern society, they nevertheless want to cling to Christ's word as the source of Christian virtue and to obey the command of the Apostle: [Col 3:17 follows]" ("Unitatis Redintegratio", 23).
18-19. In the period when this epistle was written, especially in the East, women were regarded as inferior to men. St Paul does not make a direct attack on the customs of his time, but the way he focuses the question of the role of women provides the elements of an answer to it. He identifies what a woman's role in the family should be: it is true that the husband has an important part to play, but the wife also has a role to perform and one which is non-transferable. The wife is not the husband's slave: she is his equal in dignity and must be treated by him with respect and sincere love. It is taken for granted that the family needs a center of authority, and that this authority belongs to the husband, in accordance with God's design (cf. 1 Cor 11:3, 12-14). "The place and task of the father in and for the family is of unique and irreplaceable importance [...]. In revealing and in reliving on earth the very fatherhood of God (cf. Eph 3:15), a man is called upon to ensure the harmonious and united development of all the members of the family" (John Paul II, "Familiaris Consortio", 25).
God gave Eve to Adam as his inseparable companion and complement (cf. Gen 2:18); she was therefore duty-bound to live in peace with him. Man and woman have different, though complementary, roles in family life; they are equal in dignity, by virtue of the fact that they are human persons: "The unity of marriage, distinctly recognized by our Lord, is made clear in the equal personal dignity which must be accorded to man and woman in mutual and unreserved affection" (Vatican II, "Gaudium Et Spes", 49).
Therefore, a husband should make a special effort to love and respect his wife: "You are not her master", writes Saint Ambrose, "but her husband; she was not given to you to be your slave, but your wife [...]. Reciprocate her attentiveness to you and be grateful to her for her love" ("Exameron", 5, 7, 19 quoted in "Familiaris Consortio", 25).
See the note on Eph 5:22-24 and 5:25-33.
20-21. Children should obey their parents in everything, as God has commanded (cf. Ex 20:12; Sir 3:8ff)--a commandment which shows that this is something which is part of human nature. Obviously for a child's obedience to "please the Lord" it must not involve doing anything that is opposed to God's will, for Jesus taught that "he who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me" (Mt 10:37).
For their part, parents must do everything they can to bring up their children well. In every family there should be an "educational exchange between parents and children (cf. Eph 6:1-4; Col 3:20f) in which each gives and receives. By means of love, respect and obedience towards their parents, children offer their specific and irreplaceable contribution to the construction of an authentically human and Christian family (cf. "Gaudium Et Spes", 48). They will be aided in this if parents exercise their unrenounceable authority as a true and proper 'ministry', that is, as a service to the human and Christian well-being of their children, and in particular as a service aimed at helping them acquire a truly responsible freedom" ("Familiaris Consortio", 21). See the note on Eph 6:1-4.
The Flight Into Egypt
 Now when they (the Magi) had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the Child and His mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the Child, to destroy Him."  And he rose and took the Child and His mother by night, and departed to Egypt,  and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, "Out of Egypt have I called My Son."
The Return to Nazareth
 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying,  "Rise, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead."  And he rose and took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel.  But when he heard that Archelaus reigned over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee.  And he went and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, "He shall be called a Nazarene."
14. St. John Chrysostom, commenting on this passage, draws a particular attention to Joseph's faithfulness and obedience: "On hearing this, Joseph was not scandalized, nor did he say, `This is hard to understand. You yourself told me not long ago that He would save His people, and not He is not able to save even Himself. Indeed, we have to flee and undertake a journey and be away for a long time...'. But he does not say any of these things, because Joseph is a faithful man. Neither does he ask when they will be coming back, even though the angel had left it open when he said `and remain there till I tell you.' This does not hold him back: on the contrary, he obeys, believes and endures all trials with joy" ("Hom. on St. Matthew", 8).
It is worth noting also how God's way of dealing with His chosen ones contains light and shade: they have to put up with intense sufferings side by side with great joy: "It can be clearly seen that God, who is full of love for man, mixes pleasant things with unpleasant ones, as He did with all the Saints. He gives us neither dangers nor consolations in a continual way, but rather He makes the lives of the just a mixture of both. This was what He did with Joseph" ("ibid".).
15. The text of Hosea 11:1 speaks of a child who comes out of Egypt and is a son of God. This refers in the first place to the people of Israel whom God brought out of Egypt under Moses' leadership. But this event was a symbol or prefiguration of Jesus, the Head of the Church, the New People of God. It is in Him that this prophecy is principally fulfilled. The sacred text gives a quotation from the Old Testament in the light of its fulfillment in Jesus Christ. The Old Testament achieves its full meaning in Christ, and, in the words of St. Paul, to read it without keeping in mind Jesus is to have one's face covered by a veil (cf. 2 Corinthians 3:12-18).
22. History tells us that Archelaus was ambitious and cruel like his father. By the time Joseph returned from Egypt, the new king was quite notorious.
"In the different circumstances of his life, St. Joseph never refuses to think, never neglects his responsibilities. On the contrary, he puts his human experience at the service of faith. When he returns from Egypt, learning `that Archelaus reigned over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there.' In other words, he had learned to work within the Divine Plan. And to confirm that he was doing the right thing, Joseph received an instruction to return to Galilee" (St J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 42).
23. Nazareth, where the Anunciation had taken place (Luke 1:26), was a tiny and insignificant Palestinian village. It was located in Galilee, the most northerly part of the country. The term "Nazarene" refers to Jesus' geographic origin, but His critics used it as term of abuse when He began His mission (John 1:46). Even in the time of St. Paul the Jews tried to humiliate the Christians by calling them Nazarenes (Acts 24:5). Many prophets predicted that the Messiah would suffer poverty and contempt (Isaiah 52:2ff.; Jeremiah 11:19; Psalm 22), but the words "He shall be called a Nazarene" are not to be found as such in any prophetic text. They are, as St. Jerome points out, a summary of the prophets' teaching in a short and expressive phrase.
However, St. Jerome himself (cf. "Comm. on Isaiah", 11:1) says that the name "Nazarene" fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 11:1: Christ is the "shoot" ("nezer", in Hebrew) of the entire race of Abraham and David.
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