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“Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another.”  (Colossians 3:12)

The celebrations that surround Christmas have been wonderful—liturgies, caroling, being with family and friends.  But I still have to ask myself:  What exactly changed?  Am I a better person now?  Has the Christ Child shown me something I didn’t know before?

Today on the feast of the Holy Family we have a lot to contemplate about the role love plays within our families—and the role it plays beyond.  We are called to witness God’s love in many spaces:  communities, towns, our nation and the world.  A single act of courage or kindness is never wasted.  Neither is a single act of forgiveness.  They can change someone’s life forever—including lives we may never know personally.  The circle of love widens at each turn because that’s how love works.  That’s how God works.

Lessons of love start within our families.  When Mary gave birth to the Christ Child, we saw the model of a loving family.  Mary and Joseph welcomed Jesus completely even as events clouded their future together.  Soon after the arrival of the Magi, they fled home, traveling to Egypt to protect their infant son from imminent danger.  Mary and Joseph did everything they could to remain an intact family during and after their exile.

The ripple effect of their love is the central theme of every Gospel story we read about today—and Christmas is where it all began.  God’s love is inevitable.  It strengthens and grows each time we become Christ-like, too, in our families, in our communities, in our world.

Friend, to answer my own question:  What has changed for me is the belief that Christmas is not just a celebration; it’s an obligation to nurture loving relationships in honor of the Holy Family.  It’s an obligation to share God’s love at every turn within our nuclear families and beyond—even when things seem risky.  With prayer, I know you and I will be up for the task.  And with that… No more questions for 2020. 

May God bless you throughout the New Year with happiness and good health.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.

Prayer for 4th Sunday

Jesus, Mary and Joseph

show us the way to become a Holy family

where even in times of uncertainty

danger and difficulties we learn

to live by faith in Emanuel: God-With-Us.

Teach us how to be living temples

where the Spirit of God dwells

and strengthens the bond of love

between us and our family.

Draw us closer to one another

by drawing us closer to You.

Above all may we too be blest

by relying on Your mercy and grace

even when the road is uncertain

and the way forward unclear.

Consecrate my family to Your will

and abide with us now and forever.

Amen.

Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso

ABOUT MARYKNOLL

We are a Catholic Society of priests and brothers based in the United States. We are dedicated to missionary work overseas in over 20 countries. Additionally, we animate Catholics in the United States to follow their own baptismal call to share God’s compassion and love with the poor, the sick, and all those in need.

OUR GENERAL COUNCIL

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Fr. Tom O’Brien, Fr. Ray Finch, Fr. Joe Everson, Fr. Russ Feldmeier)

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers is overseen by our General Council, led by Superior General Fr. Ray Finch.

OUR FOUNDERS

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Our Co-Founders Father Price and Father Walsh)

PLACES WE SERVE

EVANGELIZATION, PARISHES, AND PROJECTS

USA

STORIES OF MISSION

(Africa) Education and Formation of African Clergy

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Africa Region will provide tuition assistance to African clergy, male and female religious at institutes of higher education or specialized training. Read More

Stories of Our Global Mission

The calling of a lifetime

The life of a Maryknoll missioner is challenging, fulfilling, and deeply rewarding. Follow your baptismal call to mission by sharing God’s compassion with the poor, the sick, and people most in need.

ASSOCIATE PROGRAM

Enrich your own vocation, walk-in solidarity with people overseas, and work together with Maryknoll Missioners. We offer US priests and Brothers ordained elsewhere the opportunity to work in overseas missions.

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier
“Go where you are needed but not wanted, and stay until you are wanted but not needed.”
– Bishop James E. Walsh, M.M.
First Maryknoll Bishop
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