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Catholic Church / Pacoima, CA

Families are the Cells of Society

The Holy Family

“Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.”Ps. 128

Society will be the result of what families are. As we know, currently it is the most attacked institution, as the Virgin of Fatima prophesied: the enemy’s final battle would be against the family. This could not be understood at the time it was said because there were no traces of such a thing, but today we can understand it because we see it daily.

Divorce has been promoted and facilitated, minimizing its importance, and thus dividing families with the negative effects it always has on all its members. The egocentric, hedonistic, and individualistic culture propagated by the mass media makes coexistence and family unity very difficult, facilitating the breakup of couples and families.

Added to this is the negative effect of cell phones with internet access, which isolates many for hours in their social networks, much more time than in family relationships that are being relegated to the background as less attractive. Consequently, parents lose much of their ability to educate and transmit values to their children. Even worse is the effect of the pagan culture that people are absorbing through these means: atheist ideologies, anti-values, hedonism, relativism, promiscuity, etc.

That is why it is urgent for Catholics who are open to the Holy Spirit to awaken in order to live and transmit faith in their families. If the salt loses its flavor, what good is it? We cannot neglect the treasure of our vocation to be light and salt, a ferment that raises the dough. Therefore, we cannot become the dough ourselves, nor live and think like pagans, for we would cease to be ferment, light, and salt.

Even if a family is very deteriorated, if one of its members wants to bring Christ into it and perseveres in this effort, they will transform it by the grace of God because we form one body in Christ. That family member knows that only united to Christ can achieve everything. To become another Christ, they open themselves to the sanctifying Spirit through personal prayer and the sacraments.

The Holy Family is the model that God Himself presents to us. Jesus is the center because He is the Child-God. The house of Nazareth is a haven of peace, joy, love, and other fruits of the Holy Spirit, which we also receive through faith. Jesus illuminates life: He comes to be our light and guide on this path. Mary also assists us with her maternal love.

A family that prays together stays together because they unite with Christ That’s why prayer is convenient, dialogue with God, speaking to Him and listening to Him. It can be done by reading a Gospel, ideally as a family, or listening to a Gospel and homily. If desired, someone can add a comment afterward, and then an Ave Maria and goodnight prayer can be said.

With creativity, the family prayer can take different forms every day, and it’s the best education in faith. They can also choose a virtue to practice each day and share how it went in the evening. It can be suggested that each person give thanks or ask for something before going to sleep… and of course, the Rosary or a decade, blessing the table, images, sacramentals, and sacraments.

Readings for the Week

Sunday: Sir 3:2-6, 12-14 or Gn 15:1-6; 21:1-3/Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5 or Ps 105:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9/Col 3:12-21 or 3:12-17 or Heb 11:8, 11-12, 17-19/Lk 2:22-40 or 2:22, 39-40
Monday: Nm 6:22-27/Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8 (2a)/ Gal 4:4-7/Lk 2:16-21
Tuesday: 1 Jn 2:22-28/Ps 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4/Jn 1:19-28
Wednesday: 1 Jn 2:29-3:6/Ps 98:1, 3cd-4, 5-6/Jn 1:29-34
Thursday: 1 Jn 3:7-10/Ps 98:1, 7-8, 9/Jn 1:35-42
Friday: 1 Jn 3:11-21/Ps 100:1b-2, 3, 4, 5/Jn 1:43-51
Saturday: 1 Jn 5:5-13/Ps 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20/Mk 1:7-11 or Lk 3:23-38 or 3:23, 31-34, 36, 38
Next Sunday: Is 60:1-6/Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13 (see 11)/Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6/Mt 2:1-12

Observances for the Week

Sunday: The Holy Family; New Year’s Eve
Monday: Mary, The Holy Mother of God, New Year’s Day, World Day of Peace
Tuesday: Sts. Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors of the Church
Wednesday: The Most Holy Name of Jesus
Thursday: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Religious
Friday: St. John Neumann, Bishop
Saturday: St. André Bessette, Religious
Next Sunday: The Epiphany of the Lord

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