Voce mea ad Dominum

Random thoughts from an amateur theologist.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Jesus, Mary and Joseph

God sets a father in honor over his children; a mother’s authority he confirms over her sons. Whoever honors his father atones for sins, and preserves himself from them. When he prays, he is heard; he stores up riches who reveres his mother. Whoever honors his father is gladdened by children, and, when he prays, is heard. Whoever reveres his father will live a long life; he who obeys his father brings comfort to his mother. - Sirach 3:2-7

In the above passage from the Book of Sirach, we see that in the eyes of God, the human family is very good. Perhaps the main reason for this is that through the human family we see so much of the power of God. Human beings united in love bring forth life to the world, and that life brings joy and happiness to the parents. Wisdom rests in the parents, and as such the children should honor their parents, and through that honor, they will learn wisdom as well. Furthermore, this passage not only gives us an image of our relationship with God, our heavenly Father, but also with the Church, our spiritual mother which is personified in Mary, the Mother of God. To honor the Father brings happiness and peace to the Mother, for we all know that Jesus honored his Father and Mother, and we all can learn from his example, and in honoring God our Father, we bring comfort to Mary our Mother. This is truly good.

So, today we honor the earthly family of the Redeemer. Jesus lived his early life in Nazareth where he was obedient to Holy Mary, his mother, and St. Joseph, his earthly Father. In the Holy Family on earth we see a reflection of the Godhead, that of the obedient Son united in love with his Father, the Blessed Trinity, God. This is what our families are called to do, image the Holy Trinity as a communion of life and love, and if we look at the character of the Holy Family, we find that it is truly filled with the virtue of charity, and thus the Holy Family images the true family, the Holy Trinity. St. Joseph loved Mary and Jesus so much that he sacrificed begetting his own children so that he could take care of Jesus. Our Lady loved the Lord so much that she was willing to bear the shame of being an unwed woman who was pregnant so that the world could behold its savior. And Jesus, the eternal God, loved his Mother and earthly Father so much that he completely emptied himself for the salvation of them and for all. That is family, complete unconditional giving of self for the beloved. Come to think of it, that is God as well, and we are back to the beginning, because God in his deepest mystery is family.

Jesus, in the family at Nazareth you grew in wisdom, age, and grace before God and men, help us to grow in all things toward you.


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