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Daily Tweet Archive

Saturday — March 28, 2020

 

Preparing for Sunday Worship in the Home

 

These days have brought up the question of the value of the Lord’s Day and its observance. Here are opening lines of what Pope John Paul II wrote to us over twenty years ago on the subject in his encyclical on the religious significance of observing Sundays as dedicated to the Lord:

The Lord’s Day — as Sunday was called from Apostolic times — has always been accorded special attention in the history of the Church because of its close connection with the very core of the Christian mystery. In fact, in the weekly reckoning of time Sunday recalls the day of Christ’s Resurrection. It is Easter which returns week by week, celebrating Christ’s victory over sin and death, the fulfilment in him of the first creation and the dawn of “the new creation” (see 2 Corinthians 5:17). It is the day which recalls in grateful adoration the world’s first day and looks forward in active hope to “the last day”, when Christ will come in glory (see Acts 1:11; 1Thessalonaians 4:13-17) and all things will be made new (see Revelation 21:5).

Here are the scripture citations to which he is refers:

2 Corinthians 5:17
Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh; even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him so no longer. So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

Acts 1:11
While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.” Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away.

Thessalonians 4:13-17
We do not want you to be unaware, brothers, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep. Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord.

Revelation 21:5
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them as their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away.” The one who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Then he said, “Write these words down, for they are trustworthy and true.” He said to me, “They are accomplished. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give a gift from the spring of life-giving water. The victor will inherit these gifts, and I shall be his God, and he will be my son.

Through a regular weekly observance of the Lord’s Day, especially with Mass, is a chain of graces which culminates for each of us in heavenly glory. To break this chain opens us up to the danger of forgetting the Lord and what he has done and does for us and thus jeopardizing the receiving his promise of eternal life. It is that serious.

Even though the series of Sunday Masses has been temporarily interrupted, the Lord’s Day has not. We must find alternate ways to worship the Lord on these Sundays. What is presented here is meant to be a help in that direction.

First of all take a look at the scripture readings for this Fifth Sunday of Lent. You will find the links to them below on this homepage.
They are:
Ezekiel 37:12-14 – I will put my spirit in you that you may live.
Psalm 130 – With the Lord is faithful covenant love, with him generous ransom.
Romans 8:8-11 – If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead has made his home in you,  then he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your own mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you.
John 11:1-45 – I am the resurrection. Anyone who believes in me,
          even though that person dies, will live

 

Friday — March 27, 2020

 

From here on out, my brother,
Ave atque Vale,
forever I salute you and bid you farewell in Christ Jesus our Redeemer.

The end of all things is at hand. Therefore, be serious and sober for prayers. Above all, let your love for one another be intense, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.  Whoever preaches, let it be with the words of God; whoever serves, let it be with the strength that God supplies, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 4:7-11

So I exhort the presbyters among you [bishops in the early Church], as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed. Tend the flock of God in your midst, overseeing not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly.  Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

1 Peter 5:1-4

Funeral of Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk
www/catholiccincinnati.org

Thursday March 26, 2020

Some time ago we marked this day on our Lenten calendar as the day for our annual Lenten Parish Communal Penance Sacrament. With all the cancellations taking place due to the pandemic the Lord changed what we had planned but he left this as a day of giving him thanks and praise for his merciful love. So we want to observe this day for that and in the process to realize that he is making this day when he shows us that the mercy and holiness we have received from him along with this people is a sign that he loves us and that our sins are forgiven.

To do this here we are going to consider one of his psalms of mercy and in the accompanying “blog” on this home page take a look at the wonderful page of the New Testament where Jesus forgives Peter for denying him at the time of the crucifixion.

Psalm 130, the famous De profundis, Out of the depths…, is one of the penitential psalms — part of which will be used this coming Sunday in connection with the raising of Lazarus Gospel. At that time we will join the Church in reciting (or singing along with the Man of La Mancha, see YouTube) these verses:

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to my voice in supplication.

If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
LORD, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
that you may be revered.

I trust in the LORD;
my soul trusts in his word.
More than sentinels wait for the dawn,
let Israel wait for the LORD.

For with the LORD is kindness
and with him is plenteous redemption;
And he will redeem Israel
from all their iniquities.

This brief and powerful hymn originated when God’s people gathered in pilgrimage to go his Temple dwelling in Jerusalem to praise him for his faithful merciful love of his people. Our Communal Sacrament of Penance is meant to do the same. God shows mercy to us as a people. We can see this how we have been brought together in the present crisis and together to beg his mercy which leads us to the praise him together as we wait for the dawn. The trusting in his word is the relying on his “promise.” Keeping his promise of mercy, which he is doing, tells us that he will be true to all his promises, e.g. eternal life. The NABR translates if you, Lord, mark iniquities… as if you, Lord, keep account of our sins… expresses more clearly that God never stops loving us, even when we have sinned. The purpose of God’s mercy and love is that we thank him and praise him — But with you is forgiveness, so that you may be revered. This is the day to join the Church in singing God’s praises for showing us his merciful covenant love over the years.

You may wish to see a more recent translations of this psalm in the revised New American Bible, http://www.usccb.org/bible/psalms/130 or the New Jerusalem Bible, https://www.catholic.org/bible/book.php?id=23&bible_chapter=130.

 

March 25, 2020 — Gabriel Announces to Mary the Coming of the Christ

This Lent we found the ”Face of Christ, carrying the cross” by El Greco inspiring and enabling us to focus our attention on the Mystery of Lent and Easter. Here is another painting by the same artist about 1575 A.D. and his meditation on the Annunciation of the Lord. I invite you to use it for your own meditation on the great Mystery of Christ becoming man which this Feast proclaims. You can easily search the Internet and find a larger version as well as other paintings of his on the same theme. Here are some of my thoughts.

At the center of this work is Holy Spirit who enabled Mary to conceive.
The heavens are split open and Jesus descends from above.
The Angel Gabriel holds lilies in his left hand, symbol of virginity.
His right hand is extended pointing to heaven and announcing the great event.
His wings identify him as a messenger from God, floating on a cloud.
Mary’s right hand is in a posture open to the angel’s word.
Her left hand rests on the “Bible”, i.e. the covenant of the Old Testament.
She is seen at prayer, symbolized by the prie dieu, conversing with God.
Beneath her feet is the ancient serpent, crushed by her heel (see Genesis).
Bottom right corner is a vase of flowers, indicating her fruitful virginity.
The whole history of God’s plan of salvation for us is here.

These are some of things that I see. You may find others.
But the multiple symbols show the depths and complexity of the Mystery of the Incarnation,
which we are celebrating today.

Tuesday — March 24, 2020

 

The temporary changes God has asked of us for his Lord’s Day prompts us to do some research in the scriptures for origin and reasons for the Sabbath/Lord’s Day. Here are a few passages (with notes from the New American Bible) to get us thinking of why ordinarily go to church on Sunday and keep it a day of rest, i.e. make it different than the rest of the week.
Keeping the Sabbath we a bone of contention between the Jewish leaders and Jesus — many references in the Gospels. Here is Jesus’ reply:

Jesus said:
For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.
NAB note [Matthew 12:8] The ultimate justification for the disciples’ violation of the sabbath rest is that Jesus, the Son of Man, has supreme authority over the law

Then Jesus said to them, The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.
NAB note [Mark 2:27] The sabbath was made for man: a reaffirmation of the divine intent of the sabbath to benefit Israel as contrasted with the restrictive Pharisaic tradition added to the law.
Old Testament tradition traced the Sabbath back to the creation of the world. Notice the reason for God’s command in Exodus 31:13 below.

Genesis 2:1-3
Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed. On the seventh day God completed the work he had been doing; he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken. God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation.

Exodus 20:8
Remember the sabbath day—keep it holy.
NAB note [20:8] Keep it holy: i.e., to set it apart from the other days of the week, in part, as the following verse explains, by not doing work that is ordinarily done in the course of a week. The special importance of this command can be seen in the fact that, together with vv. 9–11, it represents the longest of the Decalogue’s precepts.
NAB note [20:11] Here, in a formulation which reflects Priestly theology, the veneration of the sabbath is grounded in God’s own hallowing of the sabbath in creation.
Compare 31:13; Dt 5:15.
Exodus 31:13 You must also tell the Israelites: Keep my sabbaths, for that is to be the sign between you and me throughout the generations, to show that it is I, the LORD, who make you holy.

Deuteronomy 5:12-15
Observe the sabbath day—keep it holy, as the LORD, your God, commanded you. Six days you may labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God. You shall not do any work, either you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your ox or donkey or any work animal, or the resident alien within your gates, so that your male and female slave may rest as you do. Remember that you too were once slaves in the land of Egypt, and the LORD, your God, brought you out from there with a strong hand and outstretched arm. That is why the LORD, your God, has commanded you to observe the sabbath day.

God is the only one who can make us a holy people. He does not want us to forget this. He gives us a weekly reminder. It is that important.

 

Monday, March 23, 2020

Lest we quickly forget the word of God from yesterday (4th Sunday of Lent)
here is a brief synopsis of the readings
with an emphasis on the responsorial — Psalm 23

1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a
Psalm 23: 1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Ephesians 5:8-14
John 9:1-41

OT — God does not see things the way men do
                for they take notice only of the outward appearance
                but the Lord looks and sees the heart.
Psalm — The Lord Shepherd leads me to waters of peace and revives me
St. Paul —You have become light, live then as offspring of the light.
Gospel — You can now see and recognize the Messiah (the fullness of the Covenant),
                it is he who speaks with you.

Read and use Psalm 23 in the light of the Gospel of Jesus and the man born blind.

Keep in mind that name of God is all capitalized
                which tells us he is Yahweh, the God of the Covenant of Sinai,
The me of the psalm refers primarily to the whole people of God
                who sang this psalm together.
We certainly can consider the pandemic as a dark valley.
There is also an anointing as Jesus did for the man born blind.

The Gospel and this psalm can be considered renewals of the Covenant.

 

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.

He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.

You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.

 

Sunday — March 22, 2020

 

PRAYER COMMUNION AT HOME

 

[The commentary on the scriptures of today can be found
below on this homepage under Father Fay’s Blog.]

 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

 

Peace be with you.

 

Let us seek the merciful love of God:

Have mercy on us, O Lord
For we have sinned against you.

Lord, show us your mercy
And grant us your salvation.

 

Let us pray:

Lord our God, we stand in awe of you for your wonderful plan of salvation of all of mankind brought about by your Son, the Word made flesh. In the light of this we pray begging you to see to it that your Christian people experience an increase of a more lively faith which will bring forth your inspired love within us taking us more quickly to the upcoming Easter Season with its great festivities.

Listen to the sacred scriptures:
[Go to the Today’s Readings section below on this webpage.]

 

Silent Reflection and/or share comments.

 

Homily:

We find ourselves on a journey in uncharted waters. No one on earth today, I believe, has ever gone through exactly what we are going through. Can we call it a gift of God? Is that stretching things a bit? Never forget that Jesus’ death and resurrection is God’s way of salvation for us. We can never call the Paschal Mystery of Christ (his death, resurrection and glorification) a farfetched and impossible work of God. So we must ask ourselves what kind of a God do we have. If God has chosen to lead us in these days with unexpected and frightening events, he will likewise provide the new graces we need to reach eternal life through them. Therefore we are being called by the Lord to be renewed in faith as we continue our journey in troubled waters. God’s love is being revealed before our very eyes.

 

What does our faith tell us then? God’s word today can play an essential role in what lies ahead for us in the near future as well as what lies ahead in our final days when he brings us to perfection in his heavenly realm.

 

Today’s Gospel of Jesus healing of the man born blind has been inserted into the list of readings on this Lenten Sunday, first of all for the catechumens preparing themselves for the Easter Sacraments (which may be delayed for a few weeks as we wait for the air to clear – I foresee that this year the Feast which will take first place for us will be Pentecost, May 31st –more on that later). So this is why I am calling the present situation as a call from God to renew our own faith within the body of the Church. Let me explain.

 

One of the main results of the pandemic has been a clear realization by all that we are all in this together (Christians and non-Christians alike — hospitals do not differentiate). So we all need the light of Christ to enable us to see this. We need his healing not just of body but of mind and heart as well. We have never had such a great opportunity as in our time. Are we ready to take advantage of it?

 

Our faith is a social faith. God has saved us as his people. The individual will not reach Paradise all alone but only together with our brothers and sisters. From this we can see why Jesus insisted that we love one another as well as love God. So we feel – without perhaps fully realizing it – that we must reach out to one another and we miss that by missing coming to church. The Eucharist is the perfect and highest example of joining God’s people for worship. Going to church has been in the life of God’s people from ancient times. It is not an option as some may think. So I am recommending to you that, if at all possible, you gather for communal prayer on this Lord’s Day and that you spend some time in silent meditation of how God loves all his people and expects us (commands us) to join people to strengthen the faith ties which he has established as his plan of salvation. I see a blessing in this. Give it some thought.

 

We will come back together in church stronger and more faith filled to give thanks as the body of Christ to the great and loving God that we have, the Father of Jesus.

 

Praise be to God!

 

Period of Silence

 

Sample Prayer of the Faithful
Lord, who live forever and can do everything
It is from you that all mankind whom you have placed in this world
exists and continues to draw life.


We come to you seeking mercy and love
for today we are experiencing our human weakness
in the form of a unexpected virus outbreak.


We have believed and still believe that you guide
the course of human events.
We are sure that it is you who can change our human situation
for the better of mankind.
By so doing your goodness and love will shine forth, even in suffering,


We place in your care the sick and their families
for through the power and victory of your Son’s Easter Mystery
you can restore health of mind and body to us all.


Help us for we are bound by the solidarity of faith and life.


Watch over our medical personnel
and all those who serve us
in a health capacity and in public service


Be our comfort in our weakness
and sustain us
through the intercession of Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints.
Protect us from all that threatens us


Free us from the epidemic that can brings us harm
so we can return to our regular daily lives
and give you thanks and praise in the body of the Church
with hearts renewed in faith and prosperity.


In Jesus’ name we pray for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Our Father, who art in heaven…

 

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Saturday — March 21, 2020

GETTING READY FOR SUNDAY WORSHIP
(at home)

Below are my commentaries for the Sunday (tomorrow) readings.
The commentaries are not meant to be homilies. That will come tomorrow.
The word here are directed to understanding better the word of God
so that at homily time this background will help you
see better how the word of God fits into the present time (homily).
Many homilies can be drawn from these readings
The commentaries give a broader picture of what God is talking about
and enrich us in our application to our life at this very moment
and thus put into practice the teachings of Christ.

The scriptures passages themselves can be found at http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/032220.cfm

1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a
The Church’s traditions for Lent are in full force here. Last Sunday God spoke to us through the incident of the Samaritan woman at the well, today he speaks to us in the Gospel of the miraculous healing by Jesus of the man born blind. Next Sunday he opens our hearts to the raising of Lazarus. These are to lead us into a renewal of faith as we witness the new members of the body of Christ through the Easter Sacraments.
It may seem a bit strange then for us to return to the selection by God of David to be king a 1000 years before the birth of Christ in Bethlehem. What catches our attention is that the anointing of David as king happens also in Bethlehem and this helps us to understand how the Jewish scribes (experts in God’s word of old) would report to Herod at the time of the magi that the Messiah would be found in Bethlehem, the place of the origin of King David. The chosen shepherd of Israel would be associated with Bethlehem in the land of Judah (Matthew 2). Jesus the Christ would be anointed with the Holy Spirit. He also would be chosen by the heavenly Father and, though an unlikely choice by human standards, would exhibit the wisdom and love and power of the Father above. This is the Jewish faith, tightly held in the hearts of God’s people for centuries. Our Christmas scriptures attest to this. Jesus is all of these and today’s Gospel of the healing of the man born blind will reveal all this and call us to renew ourselves along with all of God’s people in the covenant of old between God and his people. Today we make this tradition ours once again.

Psalm 23: 1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6

  1. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

How appropriate then is this magnificent psalm. We sing/read/listen with King David in mind as well as Jesus Christ who not only called himself the Good Shepherd but also acted that way (see the Gospel). We heard from the first reading that God is the one who makes the choice of his king on the earth to represent him. He has chosen his beloved Son. The divine power will be evident as he shepherds God’s people. One nuance of this psalm is God’s shepherding is ongoing. As presented to us in our translation it may come across as static whereas it actually is dynamic. So do not think of our Lord the Shepherd as a picture of God as an oil painting handing on the wall. Rather it gives us a picture of our God as actively engaged in pasturing his people. He has done so in the past but more importantly he is doing it NOW. (By the way we have the whole psalm here — a rarity for our responsorial which generally has just selected verses.) So every line of this psalm is telling us that the LORD Yahweh is actively engaged in our salvation this very day, this very time as we walk through the dark valley.

Ephesians 5:8-14

There is something very familiar about this reading. What is it? We find phrases here which we hear and use in our liturgies of Easter: children of light coming out of the darkness, now pleasing to the Lord, awake from sleep and arise from the dead Christ will give you light. The connection with today’s Gospel cannot be missed. Saint Paul makes it clear how we can say that we have been raised from the dead. This is because Christ the Light is within us. We no longer sleep. We awake to the sunshine. Sinfulness (opposition and rebellion to the Covenant) — are former way of life is replaced with a life harmonious to God’s plan for us. We are children of the light which uses the image of being born again — the image of our baptism. We recommit ourselves to live then our baptism, our reawakening to the light of Christ, our being raised from the dead. We are about to celebrate and live the resurrection.

Verse Before The Gospel
I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life John 8:12.

John 9:1-41

The baptism reference reappears here in description of the man’s plight as an affliction from birth. Do not overlook the instructions given him by Christ is to go and wash in the waters of Siloam. This, too, recalls baptism. Then there is the joining of washing and seeing. Then there is the clay made into a salve used for the anointing of the man’s eyes. This brings to mind the creation of Adam and the recreation which Christ has made in us through a power that only the Creator has.
Perhaps we need to take notice of the disbelief of some of his contemporaries and the repeated efforts to draw an explanation from the cured man. God in his mercy has not forgotten them even in their refusal to accept what he is doing in our midst. God is merciful beyond compare. The cured man said to them: Do you want to become his disciples, too? The believers thus become a constant sign to the world of God’s saving presence among us of the Anointed of God. We have been baptized into the faith not just for ourselves but as living signs of God is among us with his healing and saving power. It is a continuing responsibility we have today. His gift of faith is to be shared. Take some of the final words of the Gospel to heart: I do believe, Lord and he worshiped him.

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2020

 

Since there will be no public Masses at Saint Gabriel’s this Sunday
it is incumbent upon us to prepare ourselves for keeping the Lord’s Day
with family prayer at home. This web page is to help us do that.

 

READINGS FROM THE PASSION OF MATTHEW

New Jerusalem Bible version, Matthew 21:1-17

 

1 When they were near Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples,
2 saying to them, ‘Go to the village facing you, and you will at once find a tethered donkey and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me.
3 If anyone says anything to you, you are to say, “The Master needs them and will send them back at once.” ‘
4 This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet:
5 Say to the daughter of Zion: Look, your king is approaching, humble and riding on a donkey and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.
6 So the disciples went and did as Jesus had told them.
7 They brought the donkey and the colt, then they laid their cloaks on their backs and he took his seat on them.
8 Great crowds of people spread their cloaks on the road, while others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in his path.
9 The crowds who went in front of him and those who followed were all shouting: Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is he who is coming in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heavens!
10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil as people asked, ‘Who is this?’
11 and the crowds answered, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.’
12 Jesus then went into the Temple and drove out all those who were selling and buying there; he upset the tables of the money-changers and the seats of the dove-sellers.
13 He said to them, ‘According to scripture, my house will be called a house of prayer; but you are turning it into a bandits’ den.’
14 There were also blind and lame people who came to him in the Temple, and he cured them.
15 At the sight of the wonderful things he did and of the children shouting, ‘Hosanna to the son of David’ in the Temple, the chief priests and the scribes were indignant and said to him,
16 ‘Do you hear what they are saying?’ Jesus answered, ‘Yes. Have you never read this: By the mouths of children, babes in arms, you have made sure of praise?’
17 With that he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.

Ponder the psalm verses which the crowds sang upon Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. You will find them in Psalm 118. To whom do they refer? Why would the Jewish leaders be upset that the children were singing: Hosanna to the son of David? Keep in mind what time of year this was.

THURSDAY – March 19, 2020

Feast of Saint Joseph

Collect/Gathering Prayer

Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that by Saint Joseph’s intercession
your Church may constantly watch over
the unfolding of the mysteries of human salvation,
whose beginnings you entrusted to his faithful care.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Gospel

Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover,
and when he was twelve years old,
they went up according to festival custom.
After they had completed its days, as they were returning,
the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem,
but his parents did not know it.
Thinking that he was in the caravan,
they journeyed for a day
and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances,
but not finding him,
they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.
After three days they found him in the temple,
sitting in the midst of the teachers,
listening to them and asking them questions,
and all who heard him were astounded
at his understanding and his answers.
When his parents saw him,
they were astonished,
and his mother said to him,
“Son, why have you done this to us?
Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”
And he said to them,
“Why were you looking for me?
Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
But they did not understand what he said to them.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth,
and was obedient to them.

Preface

For this just man was given by you
as spouse to the Virgin Mother of God
and set as a wise and faithful servant
in charge of your household
to watch like a father over your Only Begotten Son,
who was conceived by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit,
our Lord Jesus Christ.

COMMENTARY

Saint Joseph taught Jesus to keep the Feast of Passover. Jesus, in turn, taught Joseph and Mary the depths of the mysteries of heaven. We can tell by Mary’s words to Jesus: Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety. Jesus gave his response, as above, but his parents did not understand. Even though they did not understand at the moment their dedication to God and to his word led them to respect what God was doing. Underlying this was their firm faith in God and the fact they knew so well that Jesus came to them from the Father above. It is time for us to accept what God is letting happened to us in these days.

Saint Joseph, pray for us.