Ecclesiasticus 3:2-6,12-14; Psalm 104(105):1-6,8-9; Col 3:12-21; Luke 2:22-40

“You are God’s chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together as parts of one body. Always be thankful.” This is what Saint Paul writes. And only then: “Wives, give way to your husbands”, countered by the parallel call: “Husbands, love your wives”.

Sometimes women are burdened by the thought of obeying their husbands. Because it is something more specific than the love to which Paul called men. Sometimes men also demand obedience, forgetting that love is not empty words. But the instructions on obedience and love are not the only ones that regulate relationships in marriage and family. After all, there must also be “sincere compassion, kindness and humility, gentleness and patience” and forgiveness.

And not only in the family. At school, at work – too. And necessarily in public life. We Christians must be different from those who do not know or do not want to know God.

Lord Jesus, on this last day of 2023, I entrust my family today to the intercession of Your earthly family – Mary and Joseph. Grant us the grace to find Your presence and love every day of the next year. Amen.