Celebrant: God humbled himself to be born of a human family, and sanctified family life forever. For the needs of our families and our world, we now pray.
That the many ministries of the Church may strengthen family life throughout the world, we pray to the Lord...
That governments may protect the institution of marriage, made by God as the union between one man and one woman, we pray to the Lord...
That the family may become ever more the sanctuary of life, where all are welcomed as a gift rather than a burden, we pray to the Lord...
That families burdened by divorce, abuse, or alienation may seek and find the help of the Holy Family, we pray to the Lord...
That our family members who are ill may enjoy the consolation of the Lord and the presence of their loved ones, we pray to the Lord...
That our family members who have died may be welcomed into eternal life, we pray to the Lord...
we thank you for the gift
of life and family.
Answer all our prayers,
and bring all people into your family of grace.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Sanctuary of Life
This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. Though he was conceived of a virgin, Jesus nevertheless lived as a son in a human family -- a family which points the way for the rest of us.
The family is the sanctuary of life. There can be no life without family, and there can be no family without life. The family, above all, is where life is to be welcomed, no matter how fragile or inconvenient it may be.
One of the many reasons why the Pope and bishops identify abortion and euthanasia as pre-eminent issues is because these crimes are committed by one family member upon another.
May the Holy Family lead us to a Culture of Life!
Watch a video with homily suggestions
Sir 3:2-6, 12-14
Year A: Mt 2:13-15, 19-23
Year B: Lk 2:22-40 or 2, 22. 39-40
Year C: Lk 2:41-52
The family is the “Sanctuary of Life” and the basic cell of society. The Holy Family, of course, is unique. One member is God, another is sinless, and the third is a saint. But the great lesson of today is that although God could have come into the world in any way he pleased, he chose to become a member of a family, obedient to his earthly parents, and yet totally devoted to the Heavenly Father’s will, as we all must be.
He also shared the vulnerability that comes with being a member of a human family. “Herod is going to search for the child in order to destroy him.” St. Joseph here plays the unspeakable role of protecting God. His readiness to do so, in the person of his child, speaks to every father about the role of protector, and to our whole society about the need we have for good fathers. The culture of life depends just as much on fathers making the right choices as on mothers doing so.
Strong families are an integral aspect of the Culture of Life. Today’s preaching can focus on that fact. It is precisely the breakdown of family structure that increases the temptation to abort, or to resort to euthanasia or a lack of proper care for the elderly. On the other hand, the communion of persons that comes from giving oneself away to the other in selfless love is what creates the proper context for saying a generous “yes” to life. A helpful lesson to point out from the very word “family” is that it stands for “Forget About Me; I Love You.”