Today, in the joyful atmosphere of Christmas, the Church, reliving with fresh wonder the mystery of Emmanuel, God-with-us, leads us to contemplate the Holy Family of Nazareth. From contemplation of this admirable model, the Church draws the values to hold up to the women and men of all times and all cultures. – Saint John Paul the II – Angelus, December 27, 1998
Today would normally be the feast of Saint John the Evangelist, but because it falls on a Sunday during the Octave of Christmas, today we celebrate the Holy Family. I can’t help but think though, we are at a culmination point. Saint John the Evangelist was at the apparition in Knock, Ireland. It seems fitting that in this crazy year of 2020, his day would be shared with the Holy Family, as if heaven is trying to speak something to us, both about priests and families. I hope to write more on this in the coming weeks.
For now, you may be aware but I live in TN. Our city was bombed. Thankfully it does not look as if people were the target but I have been without cell phone access or internet since Christmas. I am only able to connect today because I am in another location that still has access. It is strange to be so isolated from the outside world. But I do believe the Lord has been preparing us for these times.
In that vain, it is important for us now more than ever to have our spiritual houses in order. I will leave you with the Consecration Prayer to the Holy Family, who will guide us through these times.
Consecration to the Most Holy Family
O Most Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, today our family has come together to unite our hearts with yours, Sacred, Immaculate, and Guardian, in order to consecrate ourselves as a family to your Most Holy Family. Our hearts are longing for your presence amongst us. Our hearts are longing for your peace within us. Our hearts are longing for your protection around us. We surrender our desires, our temptations, our troubles, our sorrows, our weaknesses, our blessings and our joys to you. We give you everything, our very lives, and place it all at the foot of the cross of the Divine Child, Jesus Christ, so that we may live only for Him, our King and our Savior. May each member of our family have a heart that is Beloved beating in unison with your 3 hearts.
O Most Holy Family, we praise and honor you as the archetype of the domestic church. May our family be a reflection of yours, as we practice virtue and deepen in faith, hope and charity. We have been placed together as a family to be a reflection of you, father, mother, sons and daughters. As we live together in our own domestic church, may our home be an extension of the Catholic Church, which is an extension of our eternal home in Heaven. May our life together be ever open to the movement of the Holy Spirit so that we may be full of your grace and peace.
Mary and Joseph, just as you lived your quiet life in Nazareth as parents of the Divine Child, who was the source of Love in your family, may we too keep Jesus as the center of our lives and the center of our family. Teach us to honor and adore Him, to turn to Him first and foremost in our need, and to be witnesses of His love and mercy. May we gaze upon His Holy Face and reach the heights of union that both of you did.
Divine Child Jesus, just as you were obedient to your mother and father on earth, may we as children of our own parents, always remember to honor them in good times and bad. May we learn the virtue of obedience from the family, which will lead us in our obedience to the Heavenly Father as we grow and mature in our faith.
O Most Holy Family, today we consecrate ourselves to you and seek your intercession so that from this day forward, our prayers, our thoughts, our words and our actions will be united to you, who were ever united to the Divine Will of the Triune God. In this we pray, all glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, Amen.