I’m almost ready to kick off my shoes and enjoy a silent glass of wine. It’s Friday, and I think of all the Fridays I’ve ever lived, and there were many. In all of them, Friday was an ending to a beginning. It’s only 6:20 PM and the sun has already set. The houses in the neighborhood show signs of lights being lit. Even when you’re retired, Friday is an end to the week.
I think back to the time when Jesus was still with His Mother and father, Joseph, working as a carpenter, to help support the family. Was Friday a day of rest for Him? Did He and His Mom and Dad kick off their sandals after supper and speak of the days when Moses lead the Jews out of Egypt? Did they sing psalms of praise to God, the Father, for all the blessings He had given them this week? Did Jesus help clean up the kitchen and put away the clean dishes?
They must have prepared for the Sabbath because no work was allowed on that holy day. Did Jesus help Mary prepare the food for the Sabbath? Did Joseph join in with the food preparation and lead the Holy Family in song? When the lamps were blown out, did Jesus find a quiet place to pray to His Heavenly Father? Did Mary tell Jesus to go to sleep because the Sabbath was a big day?
The Holy Family did not stand out in their home town. They were simply Jesus, Mary and Joseph. No one suspected, but Mary and Joseph knew.
Famliy prayer had to be an important part of their day or night. Mary, Joseph, and Jesus must have gathered together to pray. Perhaps, Mary had to call Jesus in from playing with His friends. He was very popular. People knew of His goodness. They were attracted to Him.
Did Mary and Joseph gather with their friends to talk and sing praises to God? Did Mary dance with the other women in prayer?
Did Mary, Joseph, and Jesus smile and laugh with their friends? Did Jesus have chores to do? Did He play with His friends? I would imagine. Did Joseph take Jesus out to the carpentry shop and teach Jesus how to make furniture? I think so.
The Holy Family was not a unique entity in their village. They had friends. They had family living there. They fit right in because they were not so different from everyone else. They lived in the family unit. They blessed God within their community. They loved God. They worshipped God in the Temple. They didn’t stand out, and, yet, the Son of our God, chose to come to earth and live with His human nature as a child, subject to His parents, who grew into a man who was ordained as the Great High Priest, and died to save us from the evils of sin.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, protect my family. Protect us from the snares of evil. Keep us safe. Let us be hidden, like your family. Let us be holy, like your family was. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, help to guide us to Jesus, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.