“The future of humanity passes by way of the family” (St. JPII) (c)Mateo Ivankovic 2016 J.M.J. December 30, 2016 Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph Dear Family of Mary! “Dear children! With great joy, today I am carrying my Son Jesus to you, for Him to give you His peace. Open your hearts, little children, and be joyful that you can receive it. Heaven is with you and is fighting for peace in your hearts, in the families and in the world; and you, little children, help with your prayers for it to be so. I bless you with my Son Jesus and call you not to lose hope; and for your gaze and heart to always be directed towards Heaven and eternity. In this way, you will be open to God and to His plans. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (December 25, 2016) As we approach the New Year, we can take time to meditate on Our Lady’s words to us. She is guiding us into the future with her gentle wisdom. And today, as we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family, it seems important to understand her words: “Heaven is with you and is fighting for peace in your hearts, in the families and in the world; and you, little children, help with your prayers for it to be so.” Our Lady knows how desperately we need peace. Peace in our own hearts: because they are tormented by sin and sadness, because they are divided and lost. Peace in our families: because they too are tormented by division and woundedness. Peace in the world: because the state of the world is only an extension of the state of the family. St. John Paul II said once: “The future of humanity passes by way of the family” (Familiaris Consortio, n86). Everywhere today we can see the effect of our broken families. On this day when we celebrate the Holy Family, we must ask them to guide us into that peace which only Jesus can give us. St. John Paul II gave us this prayer at the end of Familiaris Consortio: And now, at the end of my pastoral message, which is intended to draw everyone’s attention to the demanding yet fascinating roles of the Christian family, I wish to invoke the protection of the Holy Family of Nazareth. Through God’s mysterious design, it was in that family that the Son of God spent long years of a hidden life. It is therefore the prototype and example for all Christian families. It was unique in the world. Its life was passed in anonymity and silence in a little town in Palestine. It underwent trials of poverty, persecution and exile. It glorified God in an incomparably exalted and pure way. And it will not fail to help Christian families-indeed, all the families in the world-to be faithful to their day-to-day duties, to bear the cares and tribulations of life, to be open and generous to the needs of others, and to fulfill with joy the plan of God in their regard. St. Joseph was “a just man,” a tireless worker, the upright guardian of those entrusted to his care. May he always guard, protect and enlighten families. May the Virgin Mary, who is the Mother of the Church, also be the Mother of “the Church of the home.” Thanks to her motherly aid, may each Christian family really become a “little Church” in which the mystery of the Church of Christ is mirrored and given new life. May she, the Handmaid of the Lord, be an example of humble and generous acceptance of the will of God. May she, the Sorrowful Mother at the foot of the Cross, comfort the sufferings and dry the tears of those in distress because of the difficulties of their families. May Christ the Lord, the Universal King, the King of Families, be present in every Christian home as He was at Cana, bestowing light, joy, serenity and strength. On the solemn day dedicated to His Kingship I beg of Him that every family may generously make its own contribution to the coming of His Kingdom in the world-“a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love, and peace,”  towards which history is journeying. I entrust each family to Him, to Mary, and to Joseph. To their hands and their hearts I offer this Exhortation: may it be they who present it to you, venerable Brothers and beloved sons and daughters, and may it be they who open your hearts to the light that the Gospel sheds on every family. I assure you all of my constant prayers and I cordially impart the apostolic blessing to each and every one of you, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. (Familiaris Consortio, n 86) May we pray with him now for these graces to be given! In Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Cathy Nolan ©Mary TV 2016 PS. You can find this amazing document here: http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_19811122_familiaris-consortio.html PPS. On New Years Day, Feast of the Mother of God, many of us choose saints to be our helpers and guides for the New Year. A list of Saints for 2017 is available on our website: https://marytv.tv/?page_id=1001 You can download this list and print it! What a grace it is to receive a new friend in heaven for the journey! Blessed New Year to you all!!