Lifelong Catechesis

Forming Catholic identity across generations
May 24, 2024


During the Christmas season from December 24th until the Sunday after Epiphany, we reflect upon the mystery of love that is made visible in the birth and early childhood of Christ.

Sunday Readings and Backgrounds

Feast of the Holy Family

Reading I : Sirach 3:2-7, 12-14

Revere your father and bring comfort to your mother.

  • The command to honor father and mother is the law that Sirach praises in today’s reading.
  • The idea of atonement for sin by honoring a parent is a feature new to biblical teaching. Earlier it was taught that atonement is accomplished through sacrifice.
  • Life and family harmony are the rewards promised to those who show respect for both parents.

Reading II : Colossians 3:12-21

Clothe yourselves with mercy.

  • Paul’s theme in the second reading is a baptismal one. We are chosen and have put on Christ.
  • The exhortations in the letter are a “household code.”
  • Paul urges all family members to relationships that are “in the Lord.” (18,20)

Gospel : Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23

Take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt.

  • Today’s Gospel is part of Matthew’s Infancy Narrative.
  • The focus of Matthew’s Infancy Narrative is to show that Jesus is the new Moses and the new Israel called out of Egypt.
  • The story of the Holy Family is not only the story of Joseph and Mary and the Boy Jesus. The Church’s story of God’s redeeming love continues on in the Feast of the Holy Family.