Reflection on the Liturgy of the Day – from L’Année Liturgique, by Dom Prosper Guéranger
The father of the Just will exult with glee; let Your father and Mother have joy; let Her who bore You exult. How lovely is Your dwelling place, O Lord of Hosts! My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the Lord.
O Lord Jesus Christ, by subjecting Yourself to Mary and Joseph, You consecrated family life with wonderful virtues; grant that, by their joint assistance, we may fashion our lives after the example of Your Holy Family, and obtain everlasting fellowship with it. Who live and reign with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end.
Reading of the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Colossians
Brethren: Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, patience. Bear with one another and forgive one another, if anyone has a grievance against any other; even as the Lord has forgiven you, so also do you forgive. But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts; unto that peace, indeed, you were called in one body. Show yourselves thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly: in all wisdom teach and admonish one another by psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing in your hearts to God by His grace. Whatever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Reflexion on the Epistle
One thing I ask of the Lord; this I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. Happy they who dwell in Your house, O Lord! continually they praise You. Alleluia, alleluia. Truly You are a hidden God, the God of Israel, the Savior. Alleluia.
Reading of the Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke
When Jesus was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. And after they had fulfilled the days, when they were returning, the Boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem, and His parents did not know it. But thinking that He was in the caravan, they had come a day’s journey before it occurred to them to look for Him among their relatives and acquaintances. And not finding Him, they returned to Jerusalem in search of Him. And it came to pass after three days, that they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who were listening to Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers. And when they saw Him, they were astonished. And His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done so to us? Behold, in sorrow Your father and I have been seeking You.” And He said to them, “How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” And they did not understand the word that He spoke to them. And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them; and His mother kept all these things carefully in Her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and grace before God and men.
Reflexion on the Gospel
Thus, O Jesus! didst Thou come down from heaven to teach us. The tender age of Childhood, which Thou didst take upon Thyself is no hindrance to the ardour of Thy desire that we should know the one only God, who made all things, and Thee, His Son, whom He sent to us. When laid in the Crib, Thou didst instruct the Shepherds by a mere look; when swathed in Thy humble swaddling-clothes, and subjected to the voluntary silence Thou hadst imposed on Thyself, Thou didst reveal to the Magi the light they sought in following the Star. When twelve years old, Thou explainest to the Doctors of Israel the Scriptures which bear testimony to Thee. Thou gradually dispellest the shadows of the Law by Thy presence and Thy words. In order to fulfil the commands of Thy heavenly Father, Thou dost not hesitate to occasion sorrow to the heart of Thy Mother, by thus going in quest of souls that need enlightening. Thy love of man will pierce that tender Heart of Mary with a still sharper sword, when She shall behold Thee hanging on the Cross, and expiring in the midst of cruelest pain. Blessed be Thou, sweet Jesus, in these first Mysteries of Thine Infancy, wherein Thou already showest Thyself devoted to us, and leaving the company of Thy Blessed Mother for that of sinful men, who will one day conspire Thy death.
We offer You, O Lord, the sacrifice of reconciliation, humbly entreating that, by the intercession of the Virgin-Mother of God and Saint Joseph, You may firmly establish our families in Your peace and grace. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God.
O Lord Jesus, cause those whom You refresh, with the heavenly sacrament, to imitate continually the example of Your Holy Family, that being welcomed at the hour of death by the glorious Virgin-Mother with Saint Joseph, we may be found worthy to be received by You into Your everlasting dwellings.