Here is the conclusion to the commentary provided by Pierre-Marie Dumont on this image (posted April 9) called the “Gospel Perfection in the Holy Family” . For this post I chose an Orthodox icon for the image of the Holy Family. Note the ‘grey’ hair and beard of St. Joseph in the writing of this icon. The Orthodox Church contends historically that the ‘betrothed’ of Mary the Theotokos was indeed an aged, holy man who was chosen to become Mary and Jesus’, protector and provider. The story, of Joseph and the Holy Family can be found the Protoevangelium of St. James, a fascinating hagiography account that every Christian should be aware of. You can access it here.
“For his part, Jesus presents the innocent face of childhood, allegory of humanity’s summons to be born-again in order to enter into the Kingdom of God. However, this little Son of Man reveals to us His divinity by holding in his hands a string tethered to the foot of a green warbler. This passerine bird, a friend to man, surpasses even the nightingale in vocal virtuosity. It symbolizes the Word of God who descends from heaven to live among us, sharing our condition as captives of the flesh. Finally, at the feet of the Child-God, we behold a firebug (Pyrrhocoris); its body of flame bears witness to the Son of God’s burning love for humanity. And, directing our gaze more closely, we discern in the upside down-markings upon its back the stylized visage of Christ.”
May Christian spouses everywhere share in this faith of the humble of heart, living out their everyday family lives, in the crucible of its demands and challenges, as a liturgy of communion in the Charity of Christ. Does not everything in family life come down to giving your life for love?
+anaphora – laetare