National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Dec 21, 2012-Jan 3, 2012

Their story, our story

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As we gather together today around God’s living word and the living bread of Eucharist, we will hear Isaiah share his vision of a cavalcade of nations streaming toward Jerusalem. We will take note as he describes gift-bearing riders astride camels, proclaiming God’s praises. We will listen attentively as the author of Ephesians reveals the “mystery” that gentiles and Jews -- that is, all the peoples of the Earth -- are “coheirs, members of the same body and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel” (Ephesians 3:6).

The family of God

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Devotion to the Holy Family has a reasonably long history in Catholicism. It first appeared significantly in 17th-century France and was brought to the New World by Jesuit missionaries and French settlers and governors. In those early years, one would find two typical depictions of the Holy Family: one featuring St. Anne, Mary and the child Jesus, the other picturing Joseph, Mary and Jesus. The devotion received official status in 1921 when, under Pope Benedict XV, the feast was inserted into the general calendar of the Roman rite.

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