“The promise to Abraham and his descendants, that they should inherit the world, did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.” Rom 4 : 13
I often wonder what it must have been like to be the parents of Jesus. The God-man who is without sin-would it be easy or hard to raise Him?
Knowing exactly how to respond, deciding on how best to instruct and what the best way forward is, and not to mention the extra things required when a new child comes into the world are always challenges. But the more I think about it, Jesus is God Himself, with whom St. Joseph and Mary, the Mother of God constantly speak, work, and abide. The Holy Family is a microcosm of relationship with God. In speaking to Jesus, they speak to God. In wrestling with Him, they wrestle with God. In being parents to Jesus, they also learned and took part in intimate relationship with God Himself.
Our simply human parenthood shows us an image of the same. If we let them, our dealings with our children and spouses show us the Father, teach us to grow in tenderness, patience, and peace. The innocent joy of a child can be the clearest window to the Father. We can learn all of these things by looking at the example of the Holy Family.
One final thought-parenting is a big step and a daunting task. People often wonder if they will be “good enough” to be parents, if they are ready to “settle down,” or what have you. Consider how much larger a task being the foster father of Jesus Christ would have been. If we get overwhelmed, we can always look back at the example of St. Joseph, who clearly did not act as foster father on his own merits or efforts (via the Law), but rather heard the message of the angel in a dream, and responded in faith that the Lord would carry and sustain him, no matter what happened. Even through moving to Egypt, avoiding a massacre at the hands of a bloodthirsty king, moving again, and having his life totally upended.
It certainly wasn’t the easiest thing in the world, but those things that are worth it seldom are.
Happy Feast of St. Joseph. St. Joseph, terror of demons, pray for us.