“Think of the love the Father has lavished on us by letting us be called God’s children and that is what we are…”
I can think of two possible approaches to today’s feast. If we focus on the holy family of Nazareth, we will find ourselves trying to imagine a vastly different world with very little to go on. We might fall back on traditional images of the boy Jesus at work in Joseph’s workshop, while Mary is busy with domestic chores – a scene of domestic bliss in a small village in ancient Palestine. We might imagine that family at prayer or taking their place in the synagogue at the weekend.
Then we move from that to our 21st century experience of family life; internet and TV dinners, social media and pressures from a culture that makes little room for the things of God. Is there any connection between these two worlds?
Yes, because in this modern world we are still the children of God,who continues to lavish his love on us. We need to learn from Mary the art of pondering and treasuring the ways God continues to work in us, through us and around us. This is how she is presented in the Gospels of yesterday and today – a woman who, in the midst of uncertainty, embraces the world that she finds herself in and who finds God right there and not in some other imaginary situation of blessedness.
Wherever we are, whoever we are, our condition is our mission and that’s where God wants to meet us.