“Whoever honors his father atones for sins, and preserves himself from them. When he prays, he is heard; he stores up riches who reveres his mother.” (Sirach 3:3-4)
Jesus, by His obedience to Mary and Joseph in their domestic life, made holy every part of our human life. Jesus sanctified childhood by coming to us as a child; He sanctified family life by living with his Holy Family in Bethlehem, Egypt, and Nazareth. By sharing in Joseph’s work, Jesus sanctified our labors, and by continuing to care for His Blessed Mother after Joseph’s death, Jesus made holy the respect we as adult children show to our aging parents. All stages of human life receive dignity by being shared by Jesus, and we can look to Jesus for our example and inspiration at all stages of our lives.
By our obedience to our parents during childhood, we imitate the perfect obedience of Jesus the Son to His Heavenly Father and His earthly foster father, Joseph. By our care for our children, we imitate the love that Mary and Joseph showered upon Jesus as His first worshipers. This week gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect upon the domestic life of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph during Jesus’ early years on earth. May our meditation bear fruit for us in our homes and make us grateful for the support and comfort of our own families. May we surrender to God our family struggles, and ask for the intercession of Mary and Joseph—that their Divine Son might be the focus of our families as well.