Mary and Joseph spent three days looking for the twelve-year old Jesus whom they thought was lost. After they found Him in the temple, Mary said to Jesus, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” Jesus said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:48-49)
Jesus’ response is a revelation which helps us to understand who He is. In the Gospels, this is the first time that Jesus reveals that His Father is God the Father. Here, we are reminded of the mystery of the two natures of Christ: His divine nature of which He is consubstantial with God the Father, and His human nature of which His flesh came from Mary. Jesus had no human father, so 100% of His DNA came from Mary.
The response: “I must be in my Father’s house” may also be translated as, “I must be doing my Father’s work.” Jesus also reveals that at the age of twelve, He is already aware that God’s work is His work. Jesus’ words serve as a precursor to His public ministry when He was about 30 years of age. (cf. Luke 3:23)
The Gospel of Luke tells us that Jesus went down with them to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; His mother kept all these things in her heart, and Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man. (Luke 2:51-52) Many commentaries refer to the childhood years of Jesus as His “hidden” life, which is the period when Jesus grew, learned and worked under the care of Mary and Joseph.
Christian tradition recognizes the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph as the model of Christian life. Hopefully, life in Christian homes may be patterned after the virtues of the Holy Family – virtues like wisdom, peace, love and obedience to parents. However, many families today, whether still living in the same home or not, are faced with deep divisiveness on issues regarding culture, politics, religion and personal decisions. Some families have been torn apart, lost respect for each other and nurture deep feelings of hurt, anger and resentment. What can we do about that?
First of all, we need to pray, regardless if it is for our own families or for the families of others. We pray to God that the grace of wisdom and understanding be imparted to all families, but more so to families facing divisive issues. Second, we need to realize that whether or not our families agree or disagree on issues, we deserve to live in peace and with respect for one another. The Christmas season is an opportune time for us to reach out, to reconcile and to forgive past hurts. We all know which issues divide our families; but getting together at Christmas time is an opportune time to put all those issues aside for a while and to enjoy God’s gift of family.
Consecration Prayer to the Holy Family
O Lord Jesus Christ, you lived in the home of Mary and Joseph in Nazareth. There you advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man. Bless our homes with wisdom and understanding, love and peace.
O Blessed Virgin Mary, you nurtured Jesus as an infant and never stopped caring for Him. Pray for us!
O Saint Joseph, as foster father to Jesus and husband to Mary, you worked as a carpenter to provide for them. Pray for us!
O Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I consecrate my family to you. May all Christian families aspire to grow in virtue, to overcome divisiveness and to live in peace. Keep us strong in faith, diligent in our work, persevering in prayer and generous to those in need. Amen.
Funds that were raised on Giving Tuesday 2021 have been put to good use. The installation of the French drain at the front part of the church has been completed. As an added bonus, the contractor also replaced the broken drainage pipes at the back of the church. We are very happy with the workmanship. Thanks be to God and thank you to all our donors who supported this project.
Before and After
The parishes in the Archdiocese of Atlanta will participate in Pope Francis’ initiative “For a synodal Church.” This initiative is called “Synod 2021-2023.”The purpose of this synod is not to produce documents, but “to plant dreams, draw forth prophecies and visions, allow hope to flourish, inspire trust, bind up wounds, weave together relationships, awaken a dawn of hope, learn from one another and create a bright resourcefulness that will enlighten minds, warm hearts, give strength to our hands.” Each parish will hold prayer-centered listening sessions and ultimately produce a report for the archdiocese by March, 2022. We need at least two facilitators for our parish; please contact Fr. Bill if you are willing to volunteer for this role.
Prayer List：David Cheng，Wang Shuang-san，Pan Bo Hao，Long Guorui，Zhang Qiang，Leslie Tsui, Judy Su.