Monday, March 19, 2007

Mary's A Single Mom

Between the ages of 16 and 26, my family lived in South Florida. Each year after Christmas, we would pack up the decorations, including our family nativity scene, and put them up in the attic above the garage. For those of you who are not aware of how hot it can get in Florida, especially South Florida where you have summer, and not quite summer - it gets hot! One Thanksgiving weekend as we were unpacking the Christmas decorations, we noticed that Joseph was no where to be found. It seems that he just disintegrated in the Florida heat - or maybe the termites got to him, we'll never know. So the long standing joke in my family was that Joseph walked out on Mary, and she was a single mom. We ended up getting a new Joseph, but he never quite matched up with Mary and Jesus the way the original Joseph did.

So today, on the Feast of St. Joseph, I take a moment to reflect on the life of this humble man who listened to the call of God and became the care taker of God made man. I imagine that was probably a large leap of faith on the part of Joseph, as it was for Mary in a different way. I remember hearing a homily just recently where our priest talked about Joseph and it really stuck with me. He said, poor Joseph, there he was with Mary, conceived without sin, and Jesus, the Son of God. If something went wrong, who do you think got the blame - yeah, Joseph. I'm not doing this homily justice, but I hope you get the point.

Today I spent some time with Brian and Sean talking about Joseph. We talked about how he was a carpenter, and made things out of wood, using tools just like Handy Manny.

Okay, so that's a bit of a stretch, but it gave them a concrete image to connect with Joseph. Sean remembers Joseph from our discussion about the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. We had a picture to color, and Sean knew exactly who Joseph and Jesus were. So did Brian for that matter. When I asked Brian who Joseph was, he said "Mary". He recognized that Joseph goes with Mary, the way he relates his aunts and uncles together. In fact when we pray our Rosary, he picks up the Mary bottle (that used to have healing water in it from Lourdes, but has long since evaporated)

and the cross with Jesus on it, and he always starts out saying "this is Mary and Joseph". I correct him that it's Jesus, and he always responds "Mommy, Mary loves Jesus, and Jesus loves Mary". How insightful and true. And they all love you Brian, Sean and Colin...they all love you.

1 comment:

Jenn Miller said...

Years ago a bishop gave a sermon about "Poor St. Joseph"...their family nativity St. Joseph was always in bad shape and put back into the box and never on display. Your story brought that back to mind. Seems like in our family nativities St. JOseph always gets the raw deal. ;-)

Cute analogy about the Handy Manny...definitely something they can identify.