Even with limited resources, a normal Ordinary Form parish can have liturgies like this! Not an abuse in sight in this Traditional Mass:
Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis
Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
27 December 2015
The biblical readings which we just heard presented us with the image of two families on pilgrimage to the house of God. Elkanah and Hannah bring their son Samuel to the Temple of Shiloh and consecrate him to the Lord (cf. 1 Sam
1:20-22, 24-28). In the same way, Joseph and Mary, in the company of
Jesus, go as pilgrims to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover (cf. Lk 2:41-52).
We often see pilgrims journeying to shrines and places dear to
popular piety. These days, many of them are making their way to the
Holy Door opened in all the cathedrals of the world and in many
shrines. But the most beautiful thing which emerges from the word of
God today is that the whole family goes on pilgrimage.
Fathers, mothers and children together go to the house of the Lord, in
order to sanctify the holy day with prayer. It is an important
teaching, which is meant for our own families as well. Indeed, we could
say that family life is a series of pilgrimages, both small and big.
For example, how comforting it is for us to reflect on Mary and Joseph teaching Jesus how to pray!
This is a sort of pilgrimage, the pilgrimage of education in prayer.
And it is comforting also to know that throughout the day they would
pray together, and then go each Sabbath to the synagogue to listen to
readings from the Law and the Prophets, and to praise the Lord with the
assembly. Certainly, during their pilgrimage to Jerusalem, they prayed
by singing the Psalm: “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to
the house of the Lord!’ Our feet are standing within your gates, O
How important it is for our families to journey together towards a single goal! We
know that we have a road to travel together; a road along which we
encounter difficulties but also enjoy moments of joy and consolation.
And on this pilgrimage of life we also share in moments of prayer. What
can be more beautiful than for a father and mother to bless their children at the beginning and end of each day, to trace on their forehead the sign of the cross,
as they did on the day of their baptism? Is this not the simplest
prayer which parents can offer for their children? To bless them, that
is, to entrust them to the Lord, just like Elkanah and Anna, Joseph and
Mary, so that he can be their protection and support throughout the
day. In the same way, it is important for families to join in a brief prayer before meals,
in order to thank the Lord for these gifts and to learn how to share
what we have received with those in greater need. These are all little
gestures, yet they point to the great formative role played by the
family in the pilgrimage of everyday life.
At the end of that pilgrimage, Jesus returned to Nazareth and was obedient to his parents (cf. Lk 2:51).
This image also contains a beautiful teaching about our families. A
pilgrimage does not end when we arrive at our destination, but when we return home and resume our everyday lives,
putting into practice the spiritual fruits of our experience. We know
what Jesus did on that occasion. Instead of returning home with his
family, he stayed in Jerusalem, in the Temple, causing great distress to
Mary and Joseph who were unable to find him. For this little
“escapade”, Jesus probably had to beg forgiveness of his parents. The
Gospel doesn’t say this, but I believe that we can presume it. Mary’s
question, moreover, contains a certain reproach, revealing the concern
and anguish which she and Joseph felt. Returning home, Jesus surely
remained close to them, as a sign of his complete affection and
obedience. Moments like these become part of the pilgrimage of each
family; the Lord transforms the moments into opportunities to grow, to
ask for and to receive forgiveness, to show love and obedience.
In the Year of Mercy, every Christian family can become a privileged place on this pilgrimage for experiencing the joy of forgiveness.
Forgiveness is the essence of the love which can understand mistakes
and mend them. How miserable we would be if God did not forgive us!
Within the family we learn how to forgive, because we are certain that
we are understood and supported, whatever the mistakes we make.
Let us not lose confidence in the family! It is beautiful when we
can always open our hearts to one another, and hide nothing. Where
there is love, there is also understanding and forgiveness. To all of
you, dear families, I entrust this most important mission - the domestic
pilgrimage of daily family life - which the world and the Church need,
now more than ever.