Sunday, December 27, 2020

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

In the fullness of time, God chose to send His Only- begotten Son to earth by means of a family – a family of Judea. The head of that family was a man whom Scriptures calls “Just” (Matt.1:19). It also gives the genealogy of this “Just Man”, Joseph by name, he was “of the house of David” (Luke 1:27), though he was impoverished and exercised the profession of a carpenter. His bride was the youthful Mary, offered by her parents to the Temple as a small child; she had been raised among the things of God and educated in the Holy Writ. She also descended from King David.

Given their ancestry, Joseph and Mary were a Judean prince and princess.

By a special providence of the Most High, these two holy people were betrothed, though Mary had made a vow of perpetual virginity, which Joseph meant to honor in their marriage. Evidence of their mutual agreement to this effect  is the fact that when the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced that she was to bear a son, she asked the question foremost in her mind: “How shall this be, since I know not man?” (Luke1:34) – a question, otherwise nonsensical, in a person entering the married state.

Mary’s question was not the result of doubt but of a simple need to understand. And thus, when she was told that the child she was to bear would be Jesus, the Son of the Most High, and that this marvel would occur through the work of the Holy Spirit, she gave her Fiat, “…and the Word was made flesh” (John 1:14).

And Joseph and Mary were married and lawfully constituted a family, in the eyes of God and men. And when Joseph learned of the mystery within Mary, we can imagine him falling to his knees, and adoring the God Child in the world’s first tabernacle.

And as true foster father, he lived to serve the God made man who called him “father”.

In the virtuous, cross-embracing example of the Holy Family, and later by constituting marriage between a man and a woman a Sacrament, God has exalted the Christian Family, giving it the means to be the mainstay of every wholesome society, the “hub” of true culture, and the nest of sanctity.


Photos by: Ralph Hammann

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