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Feast of the Holy Family, Year B

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Lectionary: 17
Read the Gospel: Luke 2:22-40

Gospel Summary
Mary and Joseph, obedient Jewish parents, presented Jesus at the Temple in Jerusalem in today's gospel. He was given the name requested of the angel at the annunciationÑJesus. An unusual thing happened at the Temple, however, when a holy man named Simeon approached the family. Simeon foretold several things about Jesus' life including the fact that Jesus was the long awaited Messiah. Not only was he to be the salvation of Israel, but he would also bring light to the Gentiles. He also blessed Mary and Joseph saying that Mary would feel great pain in her life because of her child. When the ritual was complete at the Temple, Mary, Joseph, and Jesus returned to Nazareth where Jesus would grow and learn.

Reflection for Parents
Parents can appreciate the ritual action of Mary and Joseph today as they presented Jesus at the Temple. Most of us have acted similarly in presenting our children for baptism in our own church. These symbolic actions are important milestones, but we certainly know as parents that sacramental moments are only benchmarks. The everyday living out of our faith is truly who we are. Mary, Joseph and Jesus returned to Nazareth where Jesus grew and learned, and it was in the ordinariness of Jesus' life that he grew in the favor of God's love. It is the same for us as we help shape who our children will become.

Bringing the Gospel into Your Family
Help your children remember the wisdom of elderly members of your family and their ancestors. Recall stories you have heard about them and perhaps you even have some photographs or a family Bible that registers your family tree. If not, make a family tree that allows space for drawings, photographs, or short stories about the people on the tree.

Discussion Starters
1. Some of the ways that I have grown in God's favor and love are . . .
2. One of the most significant ritual moments in my life that I recall is . . .
3. According to Simeon, Jesus was to be light for all people. I see the light of Jesus in the world when . . .

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