A few days after Christmas, the Church commemorates the Holy Family, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and the infant child, Jesus.

Usually, the feast falls on the Sunday within the Christmas octave, between Christmas and January 1, and this year the feast is celebrated on December 31.

The Holy Family is an example for all families of believers. Love, dedication, prayer and determination to do the will of God define this family's life.

Mary, mother of Jesus, is an example of listening: her entire life is devoted to meditating the word of God and in her womb the Word became flesh. At the end of his earthly life, Jesus hands her to his disciples as mother and model.

Joseph, adopted father of Jesus, father by vocation rather than by flesh, protects Jesus from every threat and danger. He too listens to the angels of God, who instruct him how to preserve the Word that became flesh and was entrusted to his care.

The Holy Family draws us all together as children of our Heavenly Father who seeks to gather us up in His arms.

On the feast day we can pray for our families that they might be like the family of Jesus:

holy_family

Blessed are you Lord, ever faithful God
For You desired that the family life of Your Son
would be a model for all generations.
May it be Your will that we live according to their example
In humility and in the tenderness of love
So that we might enjoy the goodness of Your house for ever
In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord
Who lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit
One God forever and ever.