Readings: December 29, 2013, Feast of the Holy Family

  • Sirach 3:2-4, 12-14

The Lord has given fathers authority over their children and given children the obligation to obey their mothers. If you respect your father, you can make up for your sins, and if you honor your mother, you are earning great wealth.

My child, take care of your father when he grows old; give him no cause for worry as long as he lives. Be sympathetic even if his mind fails him; don’t look down on him just because you are strong and healthy. The Lord will not forget the kindness you show to your father; it will help you make up for your sins. (© 1992 by American Bible Society)

  • Colossians 3:12-21

Brothers and sisters; chosen by God for a new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

Wives, understand and support your husbands by submitting to them in ways that honor the Master.

Husbands, go all out in love for your wives. Don’t take advantage of them.

Children, do what your parents tell you. This delights the Master no end.

Parents, don’t come down too hard on your children or you’ll crush their spirits. (© 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson)

  • Matthew 2:13-23

After the scholars were gone, God’s angel showed up again in Joseph’s dream and commanded, “Get up. Take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt. Stay until further notice. Herod is on the hunt for this child, and wants to kill him.”

Joseph obeyed. He got up, took the child and his mother under cover of darkness. They were out of town and well on their way by daylight. They lived in Egypt until Herod’s death. This Egyptian exile fulfilled what Hosea had preached: “I called my son out of Egypt.”

Later, when Herod died, God’s angel appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt: “Up, take the child and his mother and return to Israel. All those out to murder the child are dead.”

Joseph obeyed. He got up, took the child and his mother, and reentered Israel. When he heard, though, that Archelaus had succeeded his father, Herod, as king in Judea, he was afraid to go there. But then Joseph was directed in a dream to go to the hills of Galilee. On arrival, he settled in the village of Nazareth. This move was a fulfillment of the prophetic words, “He shall be called a Nazarene. (© 2002 by Eugene H. Peterso)

 

 

 

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