Feast of The Holy Family 2017

Reflection for the Feast of the Holy Family…

Feast of the Holy Family Sunday after Christmas
31 December 2017


Genesis 15:1-6.21:1-3
Psalm 104
Hebrews 11:8,11-12,17-19
Luke 2:22-40

A Thought for the day …

Inspiration for Family Life…

….there was no room for them in the inn…

On that first Christmas night, Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem to a situation, which for them, was unforeseen, unexpected and unfamiliar. At the very least they would have expected to find a room in Bethlehem which would give them the privacy and shelter for the birth of their child. But there was no room.

As a people coming together to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and giving thanks for his presence among us, we realise that there is much to distract everyone from the joy that is proper to Christmas.

The economic downturn for instance means that Christmas is very different for many. Many have lost their jobs, some feel that essential services in education and health services are in imminent danger and the vulnerable in our society are the most effected.

The pressing need is to recover faith and hope in the future.  So we can look to the gospel… Things must have looked blue for Mary and Joseph when they found they could not get accommodation in Bethlehem; the birth had not yet taken place so there was nothing to celebrate.  But they were undaunted, hoping that God would guide them through this unfamiliar and unforeseen situation.

Then the baby was born, but there was no improvement in the accommodation or in the material comforts of the Holy Family. But Mary and Joseph got a greater gift than improved accommodation or material comforts; they got the gift  that enabled them to face up to the trials of life and to make a positive contribution to their community, and to humanity.

That identical grace is working among us now helping us to face up to our present trials of life and to make a positive contribution to our community.

Fr Seán Horgan sma
St Joseph’s SMA Parish, Blackrock Road, Cork

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