Sunday Reflection: Holy Family

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Monday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church


[1st Reading – Gen.15:1-6,21:1-3; Ps.104; 2nd Reading – Heb.11:8,11-12,17-19; Gospel – Lk.2:22-40]


The birth of Jesus, though extraordinary as it may be, was already foretold and “said in the Law”. It was a promise that God had made from the beginning of time and kept through the salvation brought about by the birth of Jesus. This salvation would be open to all the nations. Everyone could feel the effects of the salvation of the Lord if he/she has his/her eyes open, be he/she a member of the people of God or even an unbeliever.

Jesus’ extraordinary being is shadowed by an ordinary life which can be appreciated only if one is ready to open his/her eyes and “see” God’s intervention.  Jesus’ life is veiled by a common ordinary existence. He is born to a “common” family habitat.  His mother Mary and his foster father Joseph, both understood that there was something “out of this world” in their son Jesus, and they both expressed their hesitation at the announcement of his presence. With God’s reassurance and since it was “said in the Law”, they both accepted to cooperate with God’s plan of salvation. In fact Mary, the mother, is hailed as being “blessed in the eyes of God”, while Joseph, the foster father, is hailed as being “a just person”. At the same time it was not enough to cooperate only at this particular moment with the will of God. They had to continue every single day because that was what “the Law of the Lord required”, even though this meant that sometimes things would be difficult to understand…

It is also “said in the ‘natural’ Law” that every child should be born in a family consisting of at least a father and a mother, through which life is procreated. Jesus’ birth took place in such a common atmosphere – a common event to “common” people.  At the same time it has become extraordinary because Jesus managed to sanctify the whole family. The single members of this family, through Jesus, were ready to do God’s will in all the circumstances they found themselves in. Likewise, every family whose members are ready to do God’s will and cooperate with Him, will be considered “Holy” in the eyes of God, not only as individuals, but as a family! Would that this become a reality in our Parish!

Lord, You chose to become part of this world through your family of Joseph and Mary. Help us to appreciate our own family. We forget that we are what we are because we were born to our particular family.  Help us Lord to be ready together, to do your Holy will like the Holy family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Thank you Lord


Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo )

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