Feast of the Holy Family

My dear parishioners and friends of our parish community: God is born!  Glorify Him!  Merry Christmas greetings on this Sunday within the Octave of Christmas!  Blessings to all during this month of the Divine Infancy of Our Lord Jesus! 

December 27th is the traditional Feast Day of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist, the Patron of our Parish and School.  He is also the Patron of Theologians, Editors, Publishing and Asia Minor.  The Catholic Church places St. John’s Day so near to Christmas because he was the Apostle closest to Christ.  St. John the Evangelist refers to himself in his Gospel as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.”  At the Last Supper, he laid his head on Jesus’ breast.  A son of Zebedee, he and his older brother St. James were nicknamed by Our Lord, “Sons of Thunder”, though it’s not certain why. 

With St. Peter and St. James, St. John was present at Our Lord’s Transfiguration and Agony in the Garden, and he was the only apostle at the foot of the Cross with the devoted women.  There Our Lord not only gave St. John the care of His Mother, but he also told the Blessed Mother, “Behold thy son”, thus making St. John and all Christians adoptive children of Mary, our Heavenly Mother. 

After Our Lady’s Assumption, St. John went to Asia Minor.  A tradition relates that he was miraculously saved from death of being boiled in oil and from drinking poisoned wine during Domitian’s persecution and was then exiled to Patmos, the island where he wrote the book of Revelation.  After Domitian died in 96, St. John returned to Ephesus where he wrote his Gospel.  He also wrote three Epistles.   

St. John is the only Apostle who did not die a martyr’s death.  It is said that at the end of his life he kept repeating, “My little children, love one another.”  St. John the Evangelist is represented in sacred art by an eagle.  At Christmas time we use the beginning of St. John’s Gospel to recall “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”  

Sunday, December 28th, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth: Jesus, Mary, and St. Joseph.  This feast is always placed on the Sunday following Christmas.  The Holy Family is model for every Catholic family.  Christmas is when families gather together.  Whether your family is very large or is very small or over the years has diminished by deaths of loved ones, we all belongs to the “Family of God,” the Church.   

Baptism makes us the brothers and sisters of Jesus and the heirs of heaven.  In the Polish family where I grew up, St. Joseph was our family’s favorite saint.  He remains the patron of our family still.  The religious Sisters who taught me in Catholic School were the Congregation Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth; founded in Poland in 1873 by Blessed Frances Siedliska, also known as Mother Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd.  I learned my Catholic Faith at home and in parochial school with the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth.  They also helped to build my vocation to the Priesthood and taught me how to decorate the altars in church!  I treasure my early years of learning under the Sisters.  Each classroom they taught in had a beautiful statue of the Holy Family. 

On Holy Family Sunday I pray for all my family members living and deceased and for the good Sisters.  Dziekuje Siostry!

                                                                                Happy St. John’s Day Parish Family! 
                                                                                                                      
Father Jim 
                                                                                  SaintJohnChurchMiddletown.com

                                                                                  It’s a Wonderful Life (Ending)

  

                                

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