Holy Land Pilgrimage

Members of the Holy Family

January 28, 2022

Bethlehem, not the place where the Word was made man, but the place where the Word was born a man. As I sat in the Church of the Nativity, I began to meditate upon what it would have been like for Mary and Joseph. Firstly, they were graced with the ability to see with their own eyes the Word made man. What a privilege it must have been to be so close to God, the ability to hold Him in their arms and to contemplate Him as He slept.

Mary and Joseph’s role as the caretakers of God did not end at his birth nor was it limited to a perpetual gazing at the Word made man. They were also entrusted to help the Word become man. Of course, only God has the power to become man and bring about the Incarnation. God allowed Himself to learn to grow up as a man through the hands of Mary and Joseph. They were the ones who needed to bathe Jesus, who needed to feed Him, they who needed to keep Him warm, they who needed to teach Him how to talk and how to walk, they who needed to teach Him how to clean the house, they who needed to teach Him how to pray. How faithfully they did this amidst the trials of being away from Nazareth, being in Egypt, and being a poor family. God knew that their riches did not consist in material wealth, but in the splendor of knowing how to be human. God knew that He could trust Mary and Joseph to love Jesus, make sacrifices for Him, and to raise Him.

As members of Jesus’ Body, God entrusts Mary and Joseph to be our parents as well. With God Our Father in heaven, they help us become man just like they did for Jesus. They help us become men and women dedicated to God and provide us with a true vision of what it means to be human. We all then are spiritual members of the Holy Family with Jesus as our brother and Mary and Joseph as our parents.

Place yourselves with Jesus in the manger. Notice how Mary and Joseph take care of the two of you. Then ask how Mary and Joseph how that care has already been present in your life.

Connor Orabutt
Diocese of Rockford

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