e celebrate the birth of our Savior with much fanfare during the Christmas season. He is Emmanuel,
. He is Jesus,
. He is born of a virgin. The very stars announce His arrival onto the human scene. Angels rejoice. To say His birth is extraordinary would be an understatement.
Yet in very important ways, His birth and childhood are quiet and ordinary. Jesus had a mother, Mary, and a father, Joseph. He depended on His parents, just as all children do, for food, warmth, comfort, love and care. He grew strong nursing at His mother’s breast. As He grew older, He learned a trade. We are told in our gospel reading that Jesus “advanced in wisdom” (Lk 2:52). He did all of this within a family.
The human family is an image of the Holy Trinity. We are made in the image of God, which means we are made to be in relationship. God has within His being the relationship of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is love, and love requires both a lover and a beloved. God, in His perfection, has this within Himself. But we must look outside of ourselves for relationship. The first relationships that all of us have — and often the most impactful — are with our families. We are literally born into relationship with others. Family life is an image of the inner life of God.
This may sound rather esoteric and mystical, but the most amazing thing about it is just how marvelously ordinary it is...