St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

Sirach 3:2–6, 12–14
Psalm 128:1–5
Colossians 3:12–21
Matthew 2:13–15, 19–23

Underlying the wisdom offered in today’s Liturgy is the mystery of the family in God’s divine plan.

The Lord has set father in honor over his children and mother in authority over her sons, we hear in today’s First Reading. As we sing in today’s Psalm, the blessings of the family flow from Zion, the heavenly mother of the royal people of God (see Isaiah 66:7, 10–13; Galatians 4:26).

And in the drama of today’s Gospel, we see the nucleus of the new people of God—the Holy Family—facing persecution from those who would seek to destroy the child and His Kingdom.

Moses, called to save God’s first born son, the people of Israel (see Exodus 4:22; Sirach 36:11), was also threatened at birth by a mad and jealous tyrant (see Exodus 1:15–16). And as Moses was saved by his mother and sister (see Exodus 2:1–10; 4:19), in God’s plan Jesus too is rescued by His family.

As once God took the family of Jacob down to Egypt to make them the great nation Israel (see Genesis 46:2–4), God leads the Holy Family to Egypt to prepare the coming of the new Israel of God—the Church (see Galatians 6:16).

At the beginning of the world, God established the family in the “marriage” of Adam and Eve, the two becoming one body (see Genesis 2:22–24). Now in the new creation, Christ is made “one body” with His bride, the Church, as today’s Epistle indicates (see Ephesians 5:21–32).

By this union we are made God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved. And our families are to radiate the perfect love that binds us to Christ in the Church.

As we approach the altar on this feast, let us renew our commitment to our God-given duties as spouses, children and parents. Mindful of the promises of today’s First Reading, let us offer our quiet performance of these duties for the atonement of our sins.

Direct download: Saving_Family.mp3
Category:Sunday Bible Reflections -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Lecturas:
Sirácide 3,2-6.12-14
Salmo 128,1-2.3.4-5
Colosenses 3,12-21
Mateo 2,13-15, 19-23

El misterio de la familia en el plan de Dios subyace en la sabiduría que se ofrece en la liturgia de hoy.

En la primera lectura de hoy escuchamos que Dios ha puesto al padre en el lugar de honor frente a sus hijos y afirma la autoridad de la madre sobre su prole. Como cantamos en el salmo, las bendiciones de la familia fluyen desde Sión, la madre celestial del pueblo real de Dios (cf. Is 66,7.10-13; Ga 4,26).

Y en el drama del Evangelio de hoy, vemos el núcleo del nuevo pueblo de Dios -la Sagrada Familia- sufriendo la persecución de quienes buscan destruir al niño y su Reino.

También Moisés -que fue llamado a salvar al hijo primogénito de Dios, el pueblo de Israel (cf. Ex 4,22; Si 36,11)-, fue también amenazado al nacer, por un tirano celoso y enfadado (cf. Ex 1,15-16). Y así como Moisés fue salvado por su madre y su hermana (cf. Ex 2,1-10; 4,19), Jesús también es rescatado por su familia, de acuerdo el plan de Dios.

Así como Dios llamó a Egipto a la familia de Jacob, para convertirla en la gran nación de Israel (cf. Gn 46,2-4), Dios guía hacia allá a la Sagrada Familia para preparar la venida del nuevo Israel de Dios: la Iglesia (cf. Ga 6,16).

Al comienzo del mundo, Dios estableció la familia en el “matrimonio” de Adán y Eva, y los dos se hicieron un solo cuerpo (cf. Gn 2,22-24). Ahora, en la nueva creación, Cristo es hecho “un cuerpo” con su Esposa, la Iglesia, como nos indica la Epístola (cf. Ef 5,21-32).

Por esta unión nos convertimos en elegidos de Dios, santos y amados. Y nuestras familias han de irradiar el amor perfecto que nos liga a Cristo en la Iglesia.

Mientras nos acercamos al altar en esta fiesta, renovemos nuestros compromisos de cumplir con los deberes que Dios nos ha encargado como esposos, hijos y padres. Conscientes de las promesas de la primera lectura de hoy, ofrezcamos el cumplimiento callado de esos deberes, en expiación por nuestros pecados.

Direct download: A_Holy_Family_Spn_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Readings:
Isaiah 52:7–10
Psalms 98:1–6
Hebrews 1:1–6
John 1:1–18

The Church’s liturgy rings in Christmas with a joyful noise. We hear today of uplifted voices, trumpets and horns, and melodies of praise.

In the First Reading, Isaiah fortells Israel’s liberation from captivity and exile in Babylon. He envisions a triumphant homecoming to Zion marked by joyful singing.

The new song in today’s Psalm is a victory hymn to the marvelous deeds done by our God and King.

Both the prophet and psalmist sing of God’s power and salvation. God has shown the might of His holy arm, they say. This language recalls the Exodus, where the people first sang of God’s powerful arm that shattered Israel’s enemy Egypt (see Exod. 15:1, 6, 16).

The coming of the Christ child into the world fulfills all that the Exodus and the return from exile prefigured.

In Jesus, all nations to the ends of the earth will see the victory of God over the forces of sin and death.

Jesus is the new King. He is the royal firstborn son and Son of God promised to David, as we hear in today’s Epistle (see Ps. 2:7; 2 Sam. 7:14).

And as our Gospel reveals, He is the Word of God, the one through whom the universe was created, the one through whom the universe is sustained.

In speaking to us through His Son, God has unveiled a new age, the last days.

The new age is a new creation. In the beginning, God spoke His Word and light shone in the darkness. Now, in this new age, He sends us the true light to scatter the darkness of a world that has exiled itself from God.

He is the one Isaiah foretold – who brings good tidings of peace and salvation, who announces to the world that God has come to dwell and to reign (see Rev. 21:3–4).

So we sing a new song on Christmas. It is the song of those who have believed in the Christ child and been born again – by grace given the power to become children of God.

Direct download: SBR_Nativity.wav
Category:general -- posted at: 11:59am EST

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