On the other hand

 
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Holy Family, based on Luke 2:22-40

When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought Jesus to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.” There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.


Scripture passage from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Deborah Wilhelm

About Deborah Wilhelm

Dr. Deborah Wilhelm is the author, with Bishop Sylvester Ryan, of Preaching Matters: A Praxis for Preachers (Paul Bechtold Theological Library). An active preacher, teacher, writer, retreat leader, and Camaldolese Benedictine Oblate, she holds a D.Min. in preaching from the Aquinas Institute of Theology. She has taught theology, presiding, and preaching for the Loyola Institute for Ministry; preaching for the Aquinas Institute of Theology, for Santa Clara University, and for the Diocese of Monterey (California); and writing at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She is also the pastoral associate at St. Paul Catholic Church in Eugene, Oregon.

2 thoughts on “On the other hand

  1. Thank you….the most insightful homily I have heard on the Holy Family and hopefully, I can practice this as well within my Religious Community and model all for our world community. God bless you and give you renewed courage and strength to preach the Word into the New Year. Peace this New Year….

  2. Beverly, thanks so much for your kind comment. Seeing my own family through the lens of the Holy Family has given me so much to think about! Peace and blessings,
    Deborah

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