12/28/2008

Family's Holy

This is Evil at its worst: that any one of us could be made to feel as though we don't matter-- that we could be treated as disposable, neglectable, or unworthy of care and protection and love.

That love was felt and perceived and known by Jesus from the day He was born.

Today we celebrate that first morning when Joseph awoke and looked fondly over at his wife, asleep next to him, the Precious Gift nestled between, in folds of swaddling clothes. They would have been nestled together for warmth, the friendly beasts lying in proximity, parcels of hay carefully arranged about them. Joseph would have recalled the events of the previous day with perfect clarity and yet it all must have seemed a blur...
... trying in vain to find lodging, Mary in labor pains, the mad press of the crowds, the contractions getting closer together, and the frantic acceptance of a kindly stranger's invitation to bed down where- if nothing else- it would be warm and private, where Mary could writhe and push and groan her sweet agonies until finally the God Incarnate emerged from her Virgin loins healthy and wailing.

Joseph would have tended to her every need, earnest and gentle. And then that strange moment after Mary had finished breastfeeding, and things were quiet, and they lay in the peaceful sanctuary of each other, softly sleeping amidst the animals' labored breathing--when Joseph heard some footsteps approaching, muted voices beyond the periphery of lamplight. Joseph would have started to see a group of shabbily dressed men approaching cautiously, nervously, muttering amongst themselves whether they had found the place. As they stepped into the lamplight, Joseph could tell they were shepherds, and they looked like they were lost- or rather the expressions on their faces indicated that they had just found what they were seeking- or rather, Whom.

The next morning, Joseph would have mused on their strange behavior. He hardly would have believed their story himself if it weren't for the fact that he too had been visited by an angel. And the fact that they were bowing and reverencing the Child in his wife's arms would have been unsettling if it hadn't been precisely what he wished to do at that moment.

Today we celebrate that moment when Joseph leaned over and touched his lips to the Infant Deity's face, offering him a kiss before laying back down with his arms around his wife, marveling at the wonders of Almighty God.

1 comment:

Micki said...

My prayer today is that all families might have a holy man as their source of love and protection. Thank you St. Joseph for all that you gave.

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