New book from Fr. Rudy.
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Holy Family Sunday
December 30, 2007 Year: A
Sir. 3:2-6, 12-4; Col. 3:12-21; Mt. 2:13-5, 19-23
He made his home in a town called Nazareth
"For the Lord honours a father above his children, and
he confirms a mother's right over her children. Those
who honour their father atone for sins, and those who
respect their mother are like those who lay up treasure.
Those who honour their father will have joy in their own
children, and when they pray they will be heard. Those
who respect their father will have long life, and those
who honour their mother obey the Lord.
My child, help your father in his old age, and do not
grieve him as long as he lives; even if his mind fails,
be patient with him; because you have all your faculties
do not despise him. For kindness to a father will not be
forgotten, and will be credited to you against your
sins." [Sir. 3:2-6, 12-4]
"As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe
yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility,
meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if
anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each
other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also
must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love,
which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And
let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which
indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and
admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude
in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs
to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do
everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks
to God the Father through him.
Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting to the
Lord. Husbands love your wives and never treat them
Children, obey your parents in everything for this is
your acceptable duty in the Lord. Fathers, do not
provoke your children, or they may lose heart." [Col.
"After the wise men had left, and angel of the Lord
appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, 'Get up, take
the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain
there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for
the child, to destroy him.' Then Joseph got up, took the
child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and
remained there until the death of Herod. This was to
fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the
prophet, 'Out of Egypt I have called my son.'
When Herod died, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared
in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, 'Get up, take
the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel,
for those who were seeking the child's life are dead.'
Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and
went to the land of Israel.
But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea
in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there.
And after being warned in a dream, he went away to the
district of Galilee. There he made his home in a town
called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through
the prophets might be fulfilled, 'He will be called a
Nazorean.'" [Mt. 2:13-15, 19-23]
A student asks a teacher: What is love ?
The teacher said: in order to answer your question, go
to the paddy field and choose the biggest paddy and come
But the rule is: you can go through them
only once and cannot turn back to pick.
The student went to the field, went thru
first row, he saw one big paddy, but he wonders....may
be there is a bigger one later. Then he saw another
bigger one... but may be there is an even bigger one
waiting for him.
Later, when he finished more than half of
the paddy field, he started To realize that the paddy is
not as big as the previous one he saw, he know he has
missed the biggest one, and he regretted. So, he ended
up went back to the teacher with empty hand.
The teacher told him, this is love... you
keep looking for a better one, but when later you
realize, you have already missed the person.
The student asked: What is marriage then?
The teacher said: In order to answer your question, go
to the corn field and choose the biggest corn and come
But the rule is: you can go through them
only once and cannot turn back to pick.
The student went to the corn field, this
time he is careful not to repeat the previous mistake,
when he reach the middle of the field, he has picked one
medium corn that he feel satisfied, and came back to the
The teacher told him, this time you bring
back a corn.... you look for one that is just nice, and
you have faith and believe this is the best one you
get.... this is marriage.
TRADITIONALLY on the Sunday after Christmas we celebrate
the feast of the Holy Family.
some respects, it was very modern in being just a
one-child family. And we may be inclined to think that,
with three such good people, life must have been very
easy for them. But, if we are to take the Incarnation
seriously, there is no reason to believe that this
family - living the lifestyle of a rural village in
those times - did not have its share of hardships over
addition there is the record of the child being lost for
three days in a large and strange city. Imagine the
anxiety of the parents in such a situation. Later the
mother will see her son become famous and then the
object of great hostility. She will see him abused,
arrested, tried, sentenced, scourged, crowned with
thorns and finally die like a common criminal with two
criminals before jeering crowds. Few mothers have to go
through that kind of experience.
in celebrating the Holy Family, we ask God's blessings
on our own families. It is a cliche to say that family
life today is in trouble. And it is a self-perpetuating
Children from dysfunctional families
themselves set up equally dysfunctional families. Never
having experienced good family life, how can they
themselves establish a good family? And it seems that
very few couples go through any real formation process
in being husband and wife and parents. Yet the skills
needed do not come naturally - or easily.
said that where two or three are gathered in his name,
he is there among them. This should be true of every
Christian family. The Catholic family is the basic
Christian community, through which Christ is present and
reveals himself in this world. It has been called the
Christian families not only belong to the
Church, their lifestyle is a living out of the Christian
vision: the vision of unconditional love in a truly
life is not meant to be lived in isolation. The world
around it is not just there for its benefit. It should
be united with, supporting and supported by the other
families in the parish community and with the wider
The mission of the family is identical to
that of the whole Church: to give tangible witness to
the vision of Christ for the world.
There are many ways we can do this in our
daily life as suggested by the American bishops in their
letter "Follow the Way of Love":
Believe in God and really believe that God cares for
Love and have a deep conviction of the value of
every other person. The image of God that children
have comes from the experience they have of being
loved by parents, grandparents and other family
members. Where, one sometimes wonders, do people
get their frightful and frightening images of God as
Foster intimacy, starting with husband and wife and
extending in appropriate ways to ever member of the
family. In your family, can all members share their
experiences, good and bad, knowing that they will be
accepted and understood? Teachers and counsellors
sometimes have young people tell them things they
would not dare tell their parents.
Give witness to the Gospel and its values by the
example of a truly Christian life. Christianity is
communicated not just by religious instruction but
more by the Christ-inspired integrity of the
parents. And overdoses of pure religion can create
opposition and rejection. But children, too, can be
a Christian influence on their parents.
Education and formation in the faith. Parents need
this as much as children. The example of the
parents is the most effective way to teach.
Children will be very confused by double standards
where parents who act one way and they learn quite
different values from their religion classes in
Praying together. Thanking God for blessings,
asking for guidance in time of trouble. The prayer
should correspond to the actual needs and situation
of the family. Forcing everyone to join in family
prayers e.g. the Rosary may not be the best for
Serving each other. Love consists in each giving to
the other. Then everyone receives. Creating
win-win situations and this can be carried out into
life, teaching others to do the same.
Readiness to forgive and seek reconciliation.
Healing wounds and letting go of grudges and
resentments. This calls for readiness to listen and
to share. Look for ways to resolve conflicts
positively and constructively, avoiding violence in
word and action.
Celebrate life -- birthdays, weddings,
anniversaries, first day at school, graduation days,
leaving childhood, first job, friends, surprise
visits, big feasts (Christmas, Easter). Every meal
can be a Eucharist of sharing not just food but
Work with the rest of the community to foster the
dignity of people, fighting against discrimination
and racism, working against hunger, poverty,
Becoming aware of our particular vocation actively
to serve the Christian community and the wider
community. What personal contribution of time and
energy is my family making to the life and work of
are ideals. There is no perfect domestic church. But
some come pretty close. Others are too disintegrated
even to get started.
can give help; others need help. We all long to live in
a community of peace, unity, reconciliation, acceptance
and with a sense of purpose. It can only happen when we
all work together under the guidance and inspiration of
the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
What is a Christian family? "'The
Christian family constitutes a specific revelation and
realization of ecclesial communion, and for this reason
it can and should be called a domestic church.' [LG 11]
It is a community of faith, hope, and charity; it
assumes singular importance in the Church, as is evident
in the New Testament. [Eph. 5:21-6:4; Col 3:18-21; 1
The Christian family is a communion of
persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father
and the Son in the Holy Spirit. In the procreation and
education of children it reflects the Father's work of
creation. It is called to partake of the prayer and
sacrifice of Christ. Daily prayer and the reading of the
Word of God strengthen it in charity. The Christian
family has an evangelizing and missionary task."
(Catechism of the Catholic Church 2205)
"The family should live in such a way
that its members learn to care and take responsibility
for the young, the old, the sick, the handicapped, and
the poor. There are many families who are at times
incapable of providing this help. It devolves then on
other persons, other families, and, in a subsidiary way,
society to provide for their needs: 'Religion that is
pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to
visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep
oneself unstained from the world.'" [Jas. 1:27]
fourth commandment illuminates other relationships in
society. In our brothers and sisters we see the children
of our parents; in our cousins, the descendants of our
ancestors; in our fellow citizens, the children of our
country; in the baptized, the children of our mother the
Church; in every human person, a son or daughter of the
One who wants to be called "our Father." In this way our
relationships with our neighbors are recognized as
personal in character. The neighbor is not a "unit" in
the human collective; he is "someone" who by his known
origins deserves particular attention and respect.
JUST JOKING PLEASE
My wife and I have a secret to making
a marriage last.
Two times a week we go to a nice restaurant, a
little wine, good food.... She
goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays.
I asked my wife, "Where do you want
to go on our anniversary?"
She said, "Somewhere I have never been!"
I told her, "How
about the kitchen?"
New book from Fr. Rudy :
Short review of the book: This book is an out come of a
serious exegetical study on the important words and
texts from the writings of St John of the Cross. The
study deals with a short life and writings of the mystic
and then does a complete study on GOD, MAN and WAYS to
EXPERIENCE GOD. The book is available at: St. Joseph
Church, Near Holy Cross Convent School, Mira Road East,
Thane Dt. Maharashtra State - 401 107, India. Books can
be ordered through email:
The cost of the book is Rs.
125/- pp.xviii + 234, The Title of the Book is: THE
DYNAMISM OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH - An Exegetical Study on
St. John of the Cross, author: Dr. Rudolf V. D' Souza,
OCD, MA. PhD.
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