Today we celebrate the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph: We thank God, the Father of our human family. His Son, knew like us, the slow pathway of growth. Jesus needed a family to grow to maturity. The Christian community is our wider family. It reminds us that we have a common Father, and that we are brothers and sisters in Christ. We cannot reach maturity in isolation from others. The traditional African proverb states that , “It takes a village to raise a child” Another African proverb states “One knee does not bring up a child” We live in a fast-paced, instant information, and pressure-packed world. Today’s children are faced with a myriad of both challenges and opportunities. Isolation and loneliness are increasingly the hallmarks of our society - not just for the elderly, but for many younger people as well. Social distancing, shielding, quarantining because of Covid 19 has its consequences! Half a century ago, if a young mother had a baby who wouldn't sleep, if a newly-married couple had the row of a century, or a child needed advice with a school project, there would most likely have been a grandparent, an uncle, an aunt or a cousin just down the road who would be able to give much-needed reassurance, advice and support. But today many are parenting without family or even friends nearby, and we are the poorer for it. The old song puts it well; “people need people!’
In the readings today we hear of Abraham and Sarah, (Genesis 15:1-6, 21:1-3) even though advanced in years, have their faith rewarded with the birth of Isaac - their promised child. The second reading (Hebrews 11:8, 11-12, 17-19) takes up the theme of Abraham and Sarah’s faith. Their confidence in God is unshakeable. In the Gospel (Luke 2:22-40) Mary and Joseph presents Jesus in the temple. It show that, from childhood, Jesus lived in a family which accepted humbly, the religion of their fathers and mothers. Many people who meet them in the temple today are prompted by the Spirit to be there to greet them. Old Simeon and Anna form a welcoming committee and express the importance of the child Jesus for the entire world. “A light to enlighten pagans and the glory of your people Israel” (Luke 2:35).Today we know how important our children are. Today’s feast is a reminder to us all to create an environment in our society where the child can grow with a strong sense of identity in their own self-worth, and are learning to hold and practise values that will last them a life time. Below is a familiar passage that outlines the necessity of having strong support in our growing years, I found these passages framed on a Nursery School Wall. May 2021 be a blessed year for you and all your families. Fr. Charles C.P.
If children live with criticism
they learn to condemn
If they live with hostility
they learn to fight
If they live with ridicule
they learn to be shy
If they live with shame
they learn to feel guilty
If they live with tolerance
they learn to be patient
If they live with encouragement
they learn to have confidence
If they live with praise
they learn to appreciate
If they live with fairness
they learn what justice is
If they live with security
they learn what faith is
If they live with approval
they learn to like themselves
If they live with acceptance and friendship
they learn to find love and God in the world.
Thank you for your continued generosity to The Graan. We sincerely want to thank you for your outstanding contribution to the community at the Christmas Liturgical celebrations. Your support gives us great encouragement in our effort to preach the Gospel.
Monday 28th, Tuesday 29th, Wednesday 30th& New Year’s Eve Mass will be at 11am.
New Year’s Day (Friday) -Mass @ 11am.
Happy New Year: We wish each and every one of you a happy and blessed New Year from all of us at The Graan Monastery. May 2021 bring you many blessings.
Please visit our Crib here at The Graan. Donations will be donated to our local St Vincent de Paul.
Gabriel Moohan, Drumlyon, Enniskillen
John & James & Patrick Keown, Roscor, Belleek
Frank & Nigel Corrigan, Hillview Park, Enniskillen
Hugh, Agnes & Kathleen Mc Manus, Loughview Dr, Enniskillen