Call to worship

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. As Mary and Joseph find the lost Jesus in the temple, we are also called to find Jesus in the holiness of our families — no matter how whole or how broken they might be.

  • To the point: Mary and Joseph looked for Jesus. In reality, this describes our own Christian living. We look for Jesus when we, like him, seek to be in God’s presence; when we, like him, choose to be obedient; when we, like him, grow in wisdom. Along the way, we discover that Jesus enlarges where we look for him, how we find him, and what new understanding comes to us through our encounters with him. This is the pattern of faithful Christian living that brings us to fullness of life.
  • Connecting the Gospel (Luke 2:41-52) to the second reading: The second reading parallels what the gospel suggests about looking for Jesus. We look for Jesus by believing in him, loving one another, and keeping the commandments.
  • Connecting the Gospel to experience: Our experience of divine presence, obedience and growing in wisdom unfolds first and foremost in our family life. The joys, challenges, and pains of family life are all opportunities to look for and find Jesus.

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(Luke 2: 41-52)

“Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”

Mary and Joseph searched everywhere
with their whole hearts,
and with harrowing anxiety, for you, Jesus.
And they found you.
Let us all find you wherever we search:
in your Father’s House, or in the faces of the poor,
in songs we sing together, in searching for answers to end
all racial injustice, to find climate solutions;
to look into the deep thoughts of others; and in poetry.
Let it all be prayer. Come to us, Lord Jesus.

The First Reading

(Sirach 3: 2-6, 12-14)

Those who honor their father will have joy in their own children.

Dear Lord, your love spreads.
It is catching. Your love starts from you,
touches a mother here, passes along to a father there
and gladdens its way into children’s hearts.
Wherever love settles, it heals, makes miracles,
then returns us to you. Let us let in your affection,
and make family. In kindness and in love.

The Second Reading

(Colossians 3: 12-21 or 3: 12-17)

And over all these put on love. … Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.

Christ, how greatly we desire to put on love,
like clothes we wear, like the skin that we dwell in.
Peace, heart’s yearning kindness, humility,
gentleness and patience: let these dwell in us richly.
Let the peace of Christ guide our hearts for all time.

Copyright © 2021, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection