The Advent and Christmas seasons are always special times each year when Christians are anticipating the Coming of our Saviour and then celebrating the arrival of the Infant Jesus. We started earlier than usual and were actually able to get our preparations completed early this time! (Well, most of them anyhow). This gave us more time to enjoy our 17-month-old grandson who is a lot more active and aware (He is walking around everywhere now….).
During my prayer time, I always go over the Mass Readings for the day and the meditations from various sources. The plight and struggles of families to raise their children in the Faith has been a growing concern of mine for the past several years. When the Feast of the Holy Family came on December 30th, the readings of Sirach 3: 2-6 and 12-14 and Mt 2: 13-15 and 14-23 were powerful. In Sirach, he talked about how God sets the father and mother over their children and, in Matthew’s Gospel an angel of the Lord tells St Joseph to take the family and flee to Egypt to protect them.
A Meditation in the December 2022 issue of Word Among Us for Dec. 30th was very good and follows here for you to ponder the title of this piece.
DAILY MEDITATION: SIRACH 3:2-6, 12-14
Take care of your father when he is old. (Sirach 3:12
Doesn’t today’s first reading paint a beautiful picture of family life? Parents eagerly welcome their newborn baby into their hearts and home. They take care of that child’s every need until she is able to live on her own. The child, in turn, honors and respects her parents, and when they grow old and become unable to care for themselves, she steps in and cares for them.
Of course, we know that it doesn’t always work out that way, often through no fault of our own. But we can still form the circle of love that God desires every time we follow his call to “take care” of one another (Sirach 3:12).
On this feast of the Holy Family, let’s consider what it means to take care of our loved ones. Of course, it starts with making sure that they are physically safe and healthy. But it goes far beyond that. “Taking care” means being aware of their feelings and paying attention to how our words and actions affect them. It means being patient when they are slow to learn or unable to do things for themselves. It means doing all we can to share our faith and enable them, whenever possible, to practice theirs. It means telling them how much we appreciate them. It means forbearing when they annoy us and forgiving them when they hurt us. And it means interceding for all their needs.
So take care of your children, your parents, your siblings. Take care of them when they are too young or too old to take care of themselves. Take care of them when they are ill or troubled. Take care of them when it’s a delight and when it’s a sacrifice.
This is a high calling, and we may fail at it sometimes. That’s all the more reason to ask Jesus, who experienced family life himself, for the grace to keep forming this circle of love-day by day, week by week, year by year. Let’s also ask Mary and Joseph to pray for us. May our care for one another bind us together in the Lord all the days of our lives!
“Father, thank you for the gift of my family. Help me to care for them as you care for me.”
Matthew 21:13-15, 19-23