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.
Thank you! Praise God you are safe. This year has isolated so many but for those pursuing God, it is a time to draw closer to Him. It isn’t a coincidence that the Christmas Star showed for the first time in 800 years on the 21st as we look to 2021 with hope. But always keep in mind that the Holy Family lived and suffered through difficult days leading to the birth of Jesus, but didn’t break into great fun days after His birth. God draws all to His heart and sometimes it is only through tough times that we can come closest. Also, Pope Francis consecrated 2021 to St Joseph
I believe that the Holy Family will protect us from the danger of corona virus that has threatened the whole world. Jesus, Mary and Joseph save us!
Veronica: “… we are at a culmination point.” Indeed, we are reaching the climax. The composition of your article shows this. St. John the Evangelist is hidden (in 1998, and also in 2020) in the Holy Family. You illustrated this fact with the scene of the Knock apparition: There is St. Joseph, is the Most Holy Virgin and is Her adoptive Son, John the Theologian. Her firstborn Son Jesus is as the Lamb on the altar. So we have a new Holy Family that recognizes the fact that: “For those whom he knew before, these he also destined to become like the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” [Romans 8:29]
The apparition at Knock was on August 21, 1879, the seventh day of the octave of the Assumption. In the mass of that day, the priest recited in the Introit: [Apoc 12: 1]
“A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon was under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.”; going up the steps (Gradual): [Ps 44: 11-12, 14]
“Hear, O daughter, and see; turn your ear; for the King shall desire your beauty.
V. All glorious is the King’s daughter as she enters; her raiment is threaded with spun gold. Alleluia, alleluia. ”
Whereas the Gospel of the day was Luke 1: 41-50 – the visitation of St. Elizabeth and the canticle of the Magnificat sung by the Blessed Virgin. Put it all together and you get the scene of the appearance of one of “those many brothers” of Jesus. John the Evangelist is here (in Knock) the antitype of the second Son of God. Tradition also calls this Apostle John The Divine, and rightly so, for the Sons of God are Divine. This time of the fall of the Catholic Church and the terror of governments against their citizens throughout the world is heading for a breakthrough marked by the revelation of the second Son of God, who will be a consolation to troubled mankind – or more precisely, he will be the Second Comforter.
What is his relationship to the Blessed Virgin? The answer is hidden in the liturgical background: “Hear, O daughter, and see; turn your ear; for the King shall desire your beauty.” The discreet presence of St. Joseph points to a marital relationship! John The Divine speaks to the Virgin in Knock, and only as Her spouse can he desire Her beauty. Moreover, he is the king. What kind of king? Ruler of the Kingdom of God prayed for two thousand years at Pater Noster. There was in the background also St. Jane Frances de Chantal (commemoration on August 21 until 1969), foundress of the Visitation Sisters. Through the names: Jane (= belonging to John) and Francisco (= belonging to the Little French), the Holy Virgin showed that She had come to visit (a Visitationist) as the spouse of an unknown man, who came from (de) Chantal (= from the Rock, Peter, i.e. from the Catholic Church). The French connections of the second Comforter are revealed more clearly if we consider that on the same day, August 21, 1879, the coronation of the Eldest Daughter of the Church, seeking her Dauphin (of France) among the Alpine rocks, took place at La Salette.
I just outlined what the climax you mentioned at the beginning of your article will be. It’s past midnight for me, I’m going to sleep.
I thought second comforter was a mormon term….
 “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another [a]Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever”
Yes that’s the Holy Spirit who came upon the Apostles at Pentecost. We receive the Holy Spirit at Baptism and Confirmation. But the term second comforter is a mormon term as far as I know. I was just trying to understand what you’re saying.