Advent calendar and prayer for 18 December
When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do: he took his wife to his home.
Today we hear the wonderful story of how Jesus was born.
Joseph hears that Mary is pregnant before they are married. He could have reacted very differently, bringing shame upon her. But instead, he showed mercy and tenderness, and listened with humility to the word of God. With integrity and generosity of spirit, Joseph took Mary into his home.
And so the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph came into being. We continue to look to the Holy Family as models of love, humility, and charity.
Father Bill Muir is a parish priest in Plymouth diocese. Recently, he helped to bring together two churches into one parish, which they gave a rather fitting name.
“We deliberately chose the title Holy Family,” Father Bill explains, “because we aim to be a family group. Like the family in Nazareth, there was an awareness of the need to support those who are vulnerable, because the Holy Family themselves were refugees.”
Parishioners from Holy Family strive to show their love for their vulnerable neighbours. The parish has received a livesimply award for their commitment to living sustainably and in solidarity with people living in poverty. The livesimply group supports Fairtrade, collects for a food bank, and has even built bird boxes in the parish garden to help the wildlife flourish.
Inspired by Joseph, who lovingly took Mary into his home, may we actively show our love and care to all who share our earthly home, especially the poorest of our sisters and brothers.
Emmanuel, God with us, give us the grace to follow you with humility. Help us to show our love for our global family through our actions. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us.
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