One Minute Reflection – 9 January – Sunday withi the Octave of Epiphany and the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Readings: Colossians 3:12-17, Luke 2:42-52
“He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was obedient to them” – Luke 2:51
REFLECTION – “In saying to Joseph – “Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife” (Mt 1:20), the Angel was not mistaken. … The address as “wife” was neither empty nor false, for this Virgin was the happiness of her husband, in a way, that was all the more perfect and admirable, in that she became a mother without the participation of that husband, fecund, without him but faithful to him. It was because of that genuine marriage, that they both merited to be called “the parents of Christ” – not only she as “His Mother” but also he, as “his father,” insofar as he was husband of Christ’s Mother, father and husband spiritually, not according to the flesh. Both of them – he only by the spirit, she even in the flesh – are parents of His Humility, not of His Nobility, parents of His Weakness, not of his Divinity. Look in the Gospel, which cannot lie – His Mother said to Him: “Son, why have you done this to us? See how your father and I, have been searching for you anxiously.”
As for Him, wanting to show that He also had a Father, besides them, who had conceived Him without a mother, answered them: “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I had to be in my Father’s house?” And so, that no-one should think that in speaking thus, He was denying His parents, the Evangelist added: “He went down with them to Nazareth and was subject to them.” … Now why did He subject Himself to those who were so inferior to His Divine Nature? Because, “humbling himself, he took on the nature of a slave” (Phil 2:7), according to which, they were His parents. If they had not been united by a true marriage, even without carnal intercourse, they could not both have been the parents of that nature of a servant.
So, taking Christ’s genealogy from Joseph – a husband in chastity, he was father in the same way. … Are you saying that he did not conceive Jesus through the operation of nature? Well then, what the Holy Spirit operated, He did for them both. For Joseph was “a just man,” Matthew tells us (1:19). Both husband and wife were just. The Holy Spirit dwelt within their mutual justice and gave each of them, a Son!” – St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace (Marriage and concupiscence 1,11; Sermon 51)
PRAYER – God, our Father, in the Holy Family of Nazareth, You have given us the true model of a Christian home. Grant, that by following Jesus, Mary and Joseph in their love for each other and in the example of their family life, we may come to Your home of peace and joy. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, now and forever, amen.
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