FAMILY NOTES, Christmas and the Feast of the Holy Family, December 25/26, 2021
Dear friends, peace at Christmas!
This year Christmas Day and the Feast of the Holy Family arrive back to back. This year I have been blessed by a little and strikingly unusual poem about Saint Joseph. The author, Mary-Patrice Woehling, portrays a Joseph who is practical, protective and wise.
The Morning After Angel
The morning after angels
St. Joseph sanded wood,
Nailed smooth boards at right angles
And though the crib was rude,
It was a vast improvement
On donkey’s feeding trough;
The craftsmanship was excellent
Though the design was rough.
St. Joseph made a promise
To keep God safe from harm;
At the coming of the Wise
They found Him sleeping, warm.
What a wonderful, common sense man was Saint Joseph! He got the Child out of that donkey’s trough pronto! His carpenter’s skill for Christ was just the start. Matthew’s Gospel hints that the Holy Family didn’t stay long in that drafty stable. The Scripture says of the Magi “on entering the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother.” (Matthew 2:11). So, Joseph got his family settled in a house. And they were there for a while because when Herod calculated from the Magi the age of the Baby he decreed the massacre of “all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under.” (Matthew 2:16). Joseph’s skill making the crib for Jesus and a house for Him and Mary was only the beginning. To save them he fled with Mary and Jesus “by night and departed for Egypt.” (Matthew 2:14); and then brought them back not to Judea, he was cautious, see Matthew 2:14, but to Nazareth. So thanks to Saint Joseph Our Lord is forever known as “a Nazorean.” Jesus of Nazareth.
I like Saint Joseph. I’d bet you do too. So let’s adopt as our own a bit of old time Catholic wisdom: “Go to Joseph!” Let’s; especially when we pass his statue in front of Church. Its plinth tells us what to say: “Saint Joseph, pray for us!!”
A blessed Christmas.
In Jesus’ Name,