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Bulletin: December 27, 2020

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The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph


On this feast of the Holy Family, we want to offer all families blessings. “Family” may have a lot of different connotations these days. In the United States, the “father, mother, child” family is less common now, and large Catholic families are not as common as they once were. The concept of family is more fluid with many forms of blended families due to second marriages, multigenerational households, and other living arrangements. In a recent survey by the Pew research center, four in ten babies are born to single mothers. Other children are being raised by grandparents or foster parents. In today’s Genesis story, Abraham was ready to concede to another form of family, making the child of one of his servants his heir. The reading from Hebrews reiterates the story of Genesis, and “your descendants will be more numerous than the stars.” The Gospel relates the story of the presentation in the temple.


POWER IN PRESCRIBED RITUALS

Joseph and Mary presented Jesus in the temple at eight days old, as was prescribed by Mosaic law. For many Catholic families, baptismal gowns were handed down through generations, and a baptism was a time of great celebration. Sadly, in our culture, baptisms continue to decline. There are many reasons for this: fewer practicing Catholics, more interfaith marriages, more secular weddings, fewer weddings by clergy, and problems or misunderstandings that turn people away. Many have left the church altogether because of the way they were treated. For some the parish is not a welcoming place. F