On this first Sunday after Christmas, the Liturgy invites us to celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth. Indeed, every nativity scene shows us Jesus together with Our Lady and St Joseph in the grotto of Bethlehem. God wanted to be born into a human family, he wanted to have a mother and father like us. The Gospel presents the Holy Family to us on the sorrowful road of exile, seeking refuge in Egypt. Joseph, Mary and Jesus experienced the tragic fate of refugees, which is marked by fear, uncertainty and unease.  Unfortunately, in our own time, millions of families can identify with this sad reality. Almost every day the television and papers carry news of refugees fleeing from hunger, war and other grave dangers, in search of security and a dignified life for themselves and for their families.
   Jesus wanted to belong to a family who experienced these hardships, so that no one would feel excluded from the loving closeness of God. The flight into Egypt caused by Herod’s threat shows us that God is present where man is in danger, where man is suffering, where he is fleeing, where he experiences rejection and abandonment; but God is also present where man dreams, where he hopes to return in freedom to his homeland and plans and chooses life for his family and dignity for himself and his loved ones.
   Today our gaze on the Holy Family lets us also be drawn into the simplicity of the life they led in Nazareth. It is an example that does our families great good, helping them increasingly to become communities of love and reconciliation, in which tenderness, mutual help, and mutual forgiveness is experienced. Let us remember the three key words for living in peace and joy in the family: “may I”, “thank you” and “sorry”. In our family, when we are not intrusive and ask “may I”, in our family when we are not selfish and learn to say “thank you”, and when in a family one realizes he has done something wrong and knows how to say “sorry”, in that family there is peace and joy. Let us remember these three words. Can we repeat them all together: may I, thank you, sorry. I would also like to encourage families to become aware of the importance they have in the Church and in society. The proclamation of the Gospel, in fact, first passes through the family to reach the various spheres of daily life.
   Let us fervently call upon Mary Most Holy, the Mother of Jesus and our Mother, and St Joseph her spouse. Let us ask them to enlighten, comfort and guide every family in the world, so that they may fulfill with dignity and peace the mission which God has entrusted to them. 

~  POPE FRANCIS ANGELUS Sunday December 29, 2013
The feast of the birth of Christ gives hope to all. Hope for a better world, hope for an end to conflict violence and peace.  The Prophet Isaiah reminds us of that as he writes: “The People who walked in Darkness have seen a great light… for a child is born to us, a son is given us… they name him… Prince of Peace” (Is 9,1-6). In the dark of this world, hope is born in the Person of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.
   Throughout this year we have felt darkness seemingly advance.  We have witnessed acts of great brutality and barbarity both in our land and abroad.  It is with all this in mind, that we celebrate Christmas.  This feast is not just a local custom or a cultural celebration. We celebrate Christmas invoking the Prince of Peace, praying for light to shine in our darkness.

      May our act of worship and adoration of the Prince of Peace lead us to action.  Wherever we are and whenever we can, let us be people of peace and reconciliation.  Let us boldly invite others to bow before the Infant Jesus humbly acknowledging that without him, true peace is not possible.

Happy Christmas to all! ~ Fr. Marc André Campbell


    In appearance, just another of the world’s many children. A Child is born in a stable in Bethlehem. He is born in a condition of extreme deprivation: poor among the poor.  But the One who is born is "the Son" par excellence: Filius datus est nobis. This Child is the Son of God, of one being with the Father. Foretold by the Prophets, he was made man by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of a Virgin, Mary.
    In the austere poverty of the crib we contemplate "a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger" (Lk 2:12). In the vulnerable and weak newborn babe who cries in the arms of Mary, "the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men" (Tit 2:11).    Let us pause in silence and worship!
   O Child, who willed to have for your crib a manger;
   O Creator of the universe, who stripped yourself of divine glory;
   O Redeemer, who offered your vulnerable body in sacrifice for the salvation of humanity!
   May the radiance of your birth light up the night of the world.
   May the power of your message of love thwart the proud snares of the evil one.
   May the gift of your life make us understand ever more clearly the worth of the life of each human being.
   Too much blood is still being shed on the earth! Too much violence and too many conflicts trouble the peaceful coexistence of nations! You come to bring us peace. You are our peace! You alone can make of us "a people purified" and belonging to you for ever, a people "zealous for good deeds" (Tit 2:14). For to us a Child is born, to us a son is given! What an unfathomable mystery is hidden in the humility of this Child! We would like to touch him; we would like to embrace him.
  You, Mary, who keep watch over your all-powerful Son, grant us your eyes to contemplate him with faith; grant us your heart to worship him with love.
    In his simplicity, the Child of Bethlehem teaches us to rediscover the real meaning of our existence; he teaches us "to live sober, upright and godly lives in this world" (Tit 2:12).

    ~ from Homily of JOHN PAUL II, Christmas Eve 2003