Friday, December 30, 2011

The Holy Family

The Holy Family, Bartolome Esteban Murillo
     When we think of the Holy Family, we often visualize them as surrounded by a  semi-haloed golden-glow of light in the midst of a fragrant, snug, rather quaint little stable.  This is an endearing mental picture, but does not give us a true idea of the life of the most extraordinary family that ever lived. In truth, Mary, Joseph, and Jesus lived an ordinary life, filled with all manner of ordinary tasks and daily routines.  It was a three-meals a day, scrub the laundry, mend the shirts, spin the yarn,  knead the bread kind of existence.  Daily duty, daily labor. The extraordinary in the midst of the utterly ordinary.

     Our lives, too, reflect this truth. Struggling through another round of repetitive never-to-be-entirely-finished  daily chores, we find within ourselves the same extraordinary mystery that dwelt in the house in Nazareth:  Christ in us. 

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,  of which I became a minister according to the divine office which was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now made manifest to his saints.  To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.~Colossians 1: 24-27, RSV

During this feast of the Holy Family, may we all seek and find within our own homes the Presence of the extraordinary in the midst of our daily ordinary duties.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel ~ God-With-Us.

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