Feast of The Holy Family- Readings & Bible Study

Feast of the Holy Family – Cycle A

Opening prayer

Sirach 3:2-6,12-14
(Ps 128:1-5)
Colossians 3:12-21
Matthew 2:13-15,19-23

Overview of the Gospel:
· Today we hear of the escape of the Holy Family into Egypt. The story of the flight into Egypt is contained only in the gospel of Matthew. This gospel, directed at a Jewish audience, brings out the point that Jesus is the new Moses and the new Israel, and the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets.
· The second chapter of Matthew emphasizes the parallels between the life of Jesus with that of Moses: both survived the slaughter of the innocents (Matthew 2:16 = Exodus 1:22), both had to flee (Matthew 2:14 = Exodus 2:15), both returned (Matthew 2:19 = Exodus 4:19), both led the people out of slavery and to the promised land (Moses to the Land of Canaan, Jesus to the New Jerusalem).
· We also see how God works through the structure of the family. Joseph as head of the Holy Family is the most responsible for their well-being (Ephesians 5:21—6:3). By being both obedient and prudent, he fulfilled God’s plan.

· Based on Herod’s response to the news of the coming of the Messiah, what kind of person do you think he was? What does it say about his view of the Messiah?
· What is Matthew’s point in emphasizing God’s watchfulness over Jesus? In fulfillment of Hosea’s and Jeremiah’s prophecies (vv 18-18, 23)?
· What relocation options face Joseph? How did God use prophecy, dreams, faith and circumstances to guide him?
· When, like Herod, do you feel threatened by Jesus’ Kingship? How do you react?
· From Joseph’s responsiveness, what do you learn about faith and obedience? How long would it take you to say “yes” if God asked you to relocate?
· Consider how God led Joseph to care for the Holy Family and protect them from danger. How have you noticed the Holy Spirit guiding your life? How sure of his guidance have you been? Despite uncertainty, how have you followed his guidance?

Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 530, 333, 2204-06

Closing prayer

Remember to read and meditate on the daily Mass readings!

*I turn to you, dear parents, and implore you to imitate the Holy Family of Nazareth. * -St. John Vianney