At Home in the Ordinary

– Solemnity of St Joseph –

“Now every year the parents of Jesus went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival.”  [Luke 2:41-42]

Today we are being provided with a glimpse into the childhood of Jesus. We see a boy about to hit his teens who is part of a large extended family who follows the practices of the faith he inherited from them. His sense of belonging to these people is underscored when, after they leave Jerusalem, it is assumed by Joseph and his mother that he’s bound to be with those who would be looking out for him. Joseph and Mary were not immediately worried that they hadn’t seen him for a day or two.

There is an ordinariness and even a ‘domesticity’ to this account, underscored by the words “they went up as usual to the festival”. Jesus was part of his faith community right from infancy. It is a practice we continue still by having our infants baptised into our faith community. While we are aware that the moment must come when the child needs to take personal responsibility for how they will live that faith (see Jesus’ reply to his parents towards the end of this account), we begin the journey as part of one another. We belong.

Today is the solemnity of St Joseph, a man who inspires us by his faith amid the ordinariness of life (Pope Francis, 150th Anniversary of the proclamation of St Joseph as patron of the Universal Church). Perhaps today, consider asking him to show you how to live your life in simplicity, taking it on, in its reality, as you allow God to lead you ever more deeply into the life he has for you.


by Shane Dwyer

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