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Scripture of the Week


Reflection on the DAILY SCRIPTURES can be found at the following links:

'Our Daily Prayer' - Jesuit Communications (Australia) 

Commentaries on the Daily Readings from SACREDSPACE (Ireland) 

Readings and Reflections on the day's Scripture (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) 

Daily Readings and Reflections (Passionist Fathers - USA) 

Commentary on the Gospel Reading for each day of the month (Dominican Fathers - Ireland)  


Reflect on the Sunday Scriptures with:

Sr. Veronica Lawson rsm   SEE BELOW

Fr. John McKinnon click here

Fr. John Thornhill  click here




First Reading - Sir 3:2-6. 12-14

Whoever fears the Lord honours his parents.

The Lord honours the father in his children,
and upholds the rights of a mother over her sons.
Whoever respects his father is atoning for his sins,
he who honours his mother is like someone amassing a fortune.
Whoever respects his father will be happy with children of his own,
he shall be heard on the day when he prays.
Long life comes to him who honours his father,
he who sets his mother at ease is showing obedience to the Lord.
My son, support your father in his old age,
do not grieve him during his life.
Even if his mind should fail, show him sympathy,
do not despise him in your health and strength;
for kindness to a father shall not be forgotten
but will serve as reparation for your sins.

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 127:1-5. R. see v.1

(R.) Happy are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.

Second Reading - Col 3:12-21

Concerning the Christian life in the world.

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.

Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God; and never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Wives, give way to your husbands, as you should in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and treat them with gentleness. Children, be obedient to your parents always, because that is what will please the Lord. Parents, never drive your children to resentment or you will make them feel frustrated.

Gospel Acclamation

Col 3:15. 16

Alleluia, alleluia!

May the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,

and the fullness of his message live within you.


Gospel - Mt 2:13-15. 19-23

Take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt.

After the wise men had left, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother with you, and escape into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, because Herod intends to search for the child and do away with him.’ So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, left that night for Egypt, where he stayed until Herod was dead. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken through the prophet:

I called my son out of Egypt.

After Herod’s death, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother with you and go back to the land of Israel, for those who wanted to kill the child are dead.’ So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, went back to the land of Israel. But when he learnt that Archelaus had succeeded his father Herod as ruler of Judaea he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he left for the region of Galilee. There he settled in a town called Nazareth. In this way the words spoken through the prophets were to be fulfilled:

He will be called a Nazarene.

Gospel Reflection:

Dreaming is an important part of life, both the dreaming we do at night and the “day dreaming” we engage in as we look to the future. In today’s gospel story, Joseph is a dreamer who listens to his dreams and hears the voice of God directing him to go where he may not have chosen to go. The visit of the wise ones or astrologers from the east has left him with some questions. Now the pieces begin to fall into place. In his dream, he becomes aware of the danger that is threatening the family. The new born child is at risk. Steps must be taken to protect the child and his mother.

The desert road to Egypt had long been the place of refuge for Joseph’s ancestors. It is still a place of refuge and asylum, away from the centre of international affairs. Although the gospel presents a patriarchal image of family with the husband as head of the household, there is no sense that family leadership resides in the exercise of power over others. It resides rather in constant vigilance and in care and protection of the most vulnerable. The reader of the gospel has already been told that Joseph is “just”: he has acted with integrity and will continue to do so.

The story-teller uses a literary device, that of “formula-citation”, to locate the story of this special family within Israel’s bigger faith story. Centuries before, Israel (Jacob’s family) had fled into Egypt in time of famine. Their descendants were later rescued from slavery in Egypt.  This new-born child will also go down into Egypt for protection and be led out to safety through God’s providence. There is no neat correspondence of character to character or event to event, simply allusions to the power of God at work in the great saving events in the lives of God’s people. The reader is being prepared for the momentous destiny in store for the world through the agency of a child at risk.

The child’s mother receives little attention in the telling of this story. We may like to retell the story through the lens of her fears and hopes or through the lens of the fears and hopes of the millions of refugees and asylum seekers of our time. God is just as much at work in the lives of those who are threatened now as was the case in the life of the family we name as “holy”. God worked through the agency of Mary and Joseph and other wisdom figures to protect the child. God works in our times through those who imagine or dream of a different future for the homeless and bereft and act to achieve those dreams. As we move into a new year, we need to ensure we are among them. And let’s not forget the other-than-human families at risk on our planet.

 Sr Veronica Lawson rsm





© The scriptural quotations are taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton Longman and Todd Ltd and Doubleday & Co Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. The English translation of the Psalm Responses, the Alleluia and Gospel Verses, and the Lenten Gospel Acclamations, and the Titles, Summaries, and Conclusion of the Readings, from the Lectionary for Mass © 1997, 1981, 1968, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.





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