Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

Jan 4, 2018


New Year’s Schedule


Recall that January 1, 2018 New Year’s Day falls on a Monday just like Christmas.  However, New Year’s Day the Feast of Mary the Mother of God is not the patronal feast for the United States.  The patronal feast of the United States is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.  Therefore the “obligation” to attend Mass on New Year’s Day is excused.  In other words, we are obligated as Catholics to attend Mass for Sunday, December 31 either on Saturday evening or Sunday morning, but we are not obligated to attend Mass for New Year’s on Sunday evening or Monday.  For this reason, the only anticipatory Mass will be New Year’s Eve (Sunday Evening) at 5:15 p.m. at St. Ann.  There is no anticipatory Mass on Sunday evening at Sacred Heart.  Monday (New Year’s Day) there will be the regular 7:30 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart and the regular holiday Mass time of 9:00 a.m. at St. Ann.  There will be no other Masses on Monday New Year’s Day. 


Confused?  Just remember that Monday, January 1, the Feast of Mary the Mother of God is not a Holyday of “Obligation” this year.


Reflection on Scripture


The Feast of the Holy Family on the liturgical calendar this year is New Year’s Eve on the secular calendar.  As mentioned before, the Feast of Mary the Mother of God (January 1) is not a day of “obligation.”  The Feast of the Holy Family, since it is on a Sunday, is a day of obligation.  Today’s feast reminds us that Jesus is fully divine and fully human; the hypostatic union.  To be fully human, Jesus needed a family. 


We are not simply defined by our individuality.  We are first defined by our humanity.  In some cases we may be defined in part by our ancestral nationality, our experiential culture, our tribe (extended family), and our family (parents and siblings).  This should not be a cause for prejudice, but for pride in tradition.  We keep and share cultural traditions (and sacraments like marriage) because they remind us of who we are.  Jesus needed to understand his Jewish roots and traditions so his divinity could shine through.   Jesus lo0gically  needed to be the Son of God to expiate our sins.  The incarnation must be a hypostatic union to logically fulfill redemption.  The first to go wrong were the Gnostics (Jesus not human).  The second to go wrong were the followers of Arius (Jesus not divine).  The humanity of Jesus is necessary if we are to be lifted by God’s sacraments to a position like unto divinity.


Readings for the Feast of the Epiphany


Is 60:1-6


Mt 2:1-12


Theme:   The Magi











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