Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family
(letter of St Paul to the Colossians 3:12-21)
As the chosen of God, then, the holy people whom he loves, you are to be clothed in heartfelt compassion, in generosity and humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with one another; forgive each other if one of you has a complaint against another. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same.
Over all these clothes, put on love, the perfect bond.
And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together in one body. Always be thankful.
Let the Word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God; and whatever you say or do, let it be in the name of the Lord Jesus, in thanksgiving to God the Father through him.
Wives, be subject to your husbands, as you should in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be sharp with them.
Children, be obedient to your parents always, because that is what will please the Lord.
Parents, do not irritate your children or they will lose heart.
and the Flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23)
After they had left, suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, 'Get up, take the child and his mother with you, and escape into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, because Herod intends to search for the child and do away with him.'
So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, left that night for Egypt, where he stayed until Herod was dead. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: I called my son out of Egypt.
After Herod's death, suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, 'Get up, take the child and his mother with you and go back to the land of Israel, for those who wanted to kill the child are dead.'
So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, went back to the land of Israel.
But when he learnt that Archelaus had succeeded his father Herod as ruler of Judaea he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the region of Galilee.
There he settled in a town called Nazareth. In this way the words spoken through the prophets were to be fulfilled: He will be called a Nazarene.