Sunday Readings and Reflections

Presentation in the Temple (Caravaggio)

Sunday, December 27 
The Holy Family – Feast 

Roman Ordinary calendar

St. John

Book of Genesis 15,1-6.21,1-3.

The word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram! I am your shield; I will make your reward very great.” 
But Abram said, “O Lord GOD, what good will your gifts be, if I keep on being childless and have as my heir the steward of my house, Eliezer?” 
Abram continued, “See, you have given me no offspring, and so one of my servants will be my heir.” 
Then the word of the LORD came to him: “No, that one shall not be your heir; your own issue shall be your heir.” 
He took him outside and said: “Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can. Just so,” he added, “shall your descendants be.” 
Abram put his faith in the LORD, who credited it to him as an act of righteousness. 
The LORD took note of Sarah as he had said he would; he did for her as he had promised. 
Sarah became pregnant and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time that God had stated. 
Abraham gave the name Isaac to this son of his whom Sarah bore him. 

Psalms 105(104),1b-2.3-4.5-6.8-9.

Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name; 
make known among the nations his deeds. 
Sing to him, sing his praise, 
proclaim all his wondrous deeds. 

Glory in his holy name; 
rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD! 
Look to the LORD in his strength; 
seek to serve him constantly. 

Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought, 
his portents, and the judgments he has uttered. 
You descendants of Abraham, his servants, 
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones! 

He remembers forever his covenant 
which he made binding for a thousand generations. 
Which he entered into with Abraham 
and by his oath to Isaac. 

Letter to the Hebrews 11,8.11-12.17-19.

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; he went out, not knowing where he was to go. 
By faith he received power to generate, even though he was past the normal age–and Sarah herself was sterile–for he thought that the one who had made the promise was trustworthy. 
So it was that there came forth from one man, himself as good as dead, descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sands on the seashore. 
By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was ready to offer his only son, 
of whom it was said, “Through Isaac descendants shall bear your name.” 
He reasoned that God was able to raise even from the dead, and he received Isaac back as a symbol. 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 2,22-40.

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, 
just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,” 
and to offer the sacrifice of “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,” in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord. 
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the holy Spirit was upon him. 
It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. 
He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, 
he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: 
Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, 
for my eyes have seen your salvation, 
which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, 
a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” 
The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; 
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted 
(and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” 
There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, 
and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. 
And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. 
When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 
The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him. 

Saint Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997) 
founder of the Missionary Sisters of Charity 

A Simple Path

“They returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth”

You can pray to the Holy Family for your own family:

Our Father, who art in heaven, you have given us a model of life

in the Holy Family of Nazareth.

Help us, most loving Father, to make a new Nazareth

of our own families, where joy and peace will reign.

May it be deeply contemplative,

fervently eucharistic and joyfully vibrant.

Help us to stay together through good and ill

thanks to our praying as a family.

Teach us to encounter Jesus

in every member of our own families,

especially those who suffer and are wounded.

May the eucharistic Heart of Jesus

make our hearts as meek and humble as his (Mt 11:29).

Help us to fulfill our vocation as a family in holiness.

May we love one another as God loves each one of us

more and more every day,

and forgive each other’s faults

as you forgive our sins.

Most loving Father, help us 

to accept all you give to us

and give all you take from us

with a big smile.

Immaculate heart of Mary, cause of our joy,

pray for us.

Holy Guardian Angels

be always with us,

guiding us and protecting us.


Traditional Latin Mass Readings on the Sunday within the octave of Christmas (Mass Dum médium (white)

EPISTLE Galatians 4: 1-7

Fratres: Quanto témpore heres párvulus est, nihil differt a servo, cum sit dóminus ómnium: sed sub tutóribus et actóribus est usque ad præfinítum tempus a patre: ita et nos, cum essémus párvuli, sub eleméntis mundi erámus serviéntes. At ubi venit plenitúdo témporis, misit Deus Fílium suum factum ex mulíere, factum sub lege, ut eos, qui sub lege erant, redímeret, ut adoptiónem filiórum reciperémus. Quóniam autem estis fílii, misit Deus Spíritum Fílii sui in corda vestra, clamántem: Abba, Pater. Itaque jam non est servus, sed fílius, quod si filius: et heres per Deum.

Brethren, As long as the heir is a child, he differs nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all: but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed by the father: so we also, when we were children, were serving under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, that He might redeem them who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because you are sons, God hath sent the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying: Abba, Father. Therefore now he is not a servant, but a son, and if a son, an heir also through God.

GRADUAL Psalms 44: 3, 2

Speciósus forma præ fíliis hóminum: diffúsa est grátia in lábiis tuis. Eructávit cor meum verbum bonum; dico ego ópera mea Regi: lingua mea cálamus scribæ velóciter scribéntis.

Thou art beautiful above the sons of men: grace is poured abroad in Thy lips. My heart hath uttered a good word, I speak my words to the king: my tongue is the pen of a scrivener, that writes swiftly.


Allelúja, allelúja. Dóminus regnávit, decórem índuit: índuit Dóminus fortitúdinem, et præcínxit se virtúte. Allelúja.

Alleluia, alleluia. The Lord hath reigned, He is clothed with beauty: the Lord is clothed with strength, and hath girded Himself with might. Alleluia.

GOSPEL Luke 2: 33-40

In illo témpore: Erat Joseph, et Maria mater Jesu, mírántes super his quæ dicebántur de illo. Et benedíxit illis Símeon, et dixit ad Maríam matrem ejus: Ecce pósitus est hic in ruínam et in resurrectiónem multórum in Israël: et in signum cui contradicétur: et tuam ipsíus ánimam pertransíbit gládius ut reveléntur ex multis córdibus cogitatiónes. Et erat Anna prophetíssa, fília Phánuel, de tribu Aser, hæc procésserat in diébus multis, et víxerat cum viro suo annis septem a virginitáte sua. Et hæc vídua usque ad annos octogínta quátuor: quæ non discedébat de templo, jejúniis et obsecratiónibus sérviens nocte ac die. Et hæc, ipsa hora supervéniens, confitebátur Dómino, et loquebátur de illo omnibus, qui exspectábant redemptiónem Israël. Et ut perfecérunt ómnia secúndum legem Dómini, revérsi sunt in Galilǽam, in civitátem suam Názareth. Puer autem crescébat, et confortabátur, plenus sapiéntia: et gratia Dei erat in illo.

At that time Joseph and Mary, the mother of Jesus, were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning Him, And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His Mother: Behold this child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel: and for a sign which shall be contradicted: and thine own soul a sword shall pierce, that out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed. And there was one Anna a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser. She was far advanced in years, and had lived with her husband seven years from her virginity. And she was a widow until fourscore and four years: who departed not from the temple, by fastings and prayers serving night and day. Now she, at the same hour, coming in, confessed to the Lord: and spoke of Him to all that looked for the redemption of Israel. And after they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to the city of Nazareth. And the Child grew and waxed strong, full of wisdom: and the grace of God was in Him.

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