"Out of Egypt I called my son"

This Sunday, in a sort of extension of our Christmas celebration we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. The Church gives us the image of the Holy Family as the first great fruit of the Incarnation. Jesus, the newly born Son of God, assumes a human family with Joseph and Mary. From the very beginning, the Holy Family was faced with dangers. Matthew narrates to us the first threats on the life of the Infant Jesus (Matthew 2:13-15,19-23). In all of these threats, God intervenes in their favor. Such was their amazing experience, lived in total abandonment and utmost faith.

Sunday Readings' Discussion Questions

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Dec. 29, 2013 (HolyFamilyA)
From the Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University

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BQ: Should Catholics be offended by the term "Xmas?"

Questions on Sunday's Readings for use by discussion groups,
prayer groups, or for individual prayer.
First Reading

Book of Sirach, Chapter 3, Verses 2-6, 12-14

1. Why is the honoring of parents inseparable from gratitude towards God? Explain.

2. Why do you think Sirach says that good things happen to you when you honor your parents (prayers heard, sins atoned, long life made happy by children)?

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4-5

1. The Psalm Response asks us, "Let the Lord enter; He is the king of glory." How do you prepare yourself during Advent so that the king of glory can enter your heart?

2. Our psalmist speaks of a people that seeks the Lord, that seeks the face of God. Describe what you are doing to seek out the Lord in your family and in your community.

Second Reading
Letter of St. Paul to the Colossians, Chapter 3, Verses 12-21

1. “Over all these put on love.” What is the only thing God asks of us? What happens to people when they are loved? What kinds of things would disappear off the face of the earth because they wouldn’t be necessary if everyone loved his/her neighbor?

2. In his letter to the Colossians St. Paul gives some ideas about how we can love each other and live in harmony. Have compassion, kindness, humility, patience, bear with one another, and forgive each other. Is this easy? How are we doing with Paul’s assignment as Church? How are you doing with it in your life?


According to Matthew, Chapter 2, Verses 13 –15, 19-23

1. Does Joseph have second thoughts about leaving his job, dwelling or possessions when the angel tells him to take the child Mary and flee to Egypt? What was the only thing that was important to him?

2. Through Christ we are all united to God the Father and this makes us one family. Would you be willing to act for your family as Joseph did? How far will you step out of your comfort zone for people other than your immediate family? Name some ways you can insure the safety or well being of your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Online Sunday Bible Study Group
Please share your reflections on the above Sunday Readings. May we be blessed by God's words as reflected in your thoughts and experience-sharing.