Family life is always a challenge, and our religious ancestors had advice about how to make it work. Though many cultural values were different, we realize how family life was interwoven with faith. We don’t know much about Jesus’ family, but we hear today that they followed traditional Jewish laws. We tend to think of them as so different from our own families; but, like us, they would have struggled to understand what they were being called to. We are more alike than we think.
- Lord Jesus, you were raised in a humble Jewish family: Lord, have mercy.
- Christ Jesus, you were brought to the Temple by Mary and Joseph: Christ, have mercy.
- Lord Jesus, you show us that all families can seek God’s guidance: Lord, have mercy.
- Sir 3:2-6, 12-14 Jewish advice on family relationships
- Ps 128 Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways
- Col 3:12-21 The virtues of a Christian household
- Lk 2:22-40 Jesus is presented in the Temple
Prayer of the Faithful
Presider Let us pray now for our own families and for all families.
Minister For the church: That it may be a wise and compassionate guide for families of every configuration … we pray,
- For all families throughout the world subject to violence, injustice or lack of resources … we pray
- For families who try to be loving and faithful in the midst of daily challenges and struggles … we pray
- For national policies and funding that support families and their needs … we pray
- For families separated by distance, issues of faith or other beliefs and viewpoints … we pray
- For children in need of foster care or adoption and those who choose to parent them … we pray
- For all families in this community, especially those dealing with illness or death … we pray
Presider God of life, we are all members of families, often struggling and imperfect. Help us to remember that Mary, Joseph and Jesus lived together in faith and love, dependent upon you to sustain them. Show us how to love, accept and be grateful for our own families. Teach us how to forgive family members who have wounded us. Grant us the grace to be the people you call us to be. We ask this in the name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.