Let us Protect the Lord
Gospel Reflection: Luke 2
“So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph,
and the infant lying in the manger.”
The Church is meant to find Jesus in the context of the Holy Family. God manifests His birth through the domestic church (the family) and shares Christ with the world in that very context. It would be wrong for us to interpret this Christmas story as something antiquated and relegated to the past. Our devotion to St. Joseph and Mary as a type of mother and father for each one of us is still as relevant as ever. Yet, we encounter our Brother and Maker in the context of a father and mother who protect, and preserve the presence of Christ.
I’d like to suggest something further: God the Father entrusts His most beloved Son to the human race. We cannot compartmentalize St. Joseph and Mary’s role so as to opt out of it ourselves. We as a Church are entrusted with the presence of Christ amidst wolves and foxes like Herod. When we consider sanctifying grace in each Christian soul, we think of the vulnerable little baby-Jesus who can be snuffed out.
When we think of the gift of faith in our families, schools, and parishes, we think of something that can die. In the case of both faith and sanctifying grace, we recognize that these dimensions within us need to grow, develop, and remain protected, just like the baby Jesus. God entrusts His Son to each of us in these and more manners, and asks us to preserve, raise, and bring to maturity Christ within our own family context and personal context.
Let us keep in mind this Christmas that while often the culture is passively working against faith, there are also those who are evangelically seeking to kill the faith in our homes, our parishes, and our personal lives. May we be like the three wise men, who take another route after receiving the Presence of Christ.
May we be like the Holy Family who enter into exile in Egypt to embody St. Joseph who imitates Joseph of the Old Testament. St. Joseph, like the Patriarch Joseph becomes the protector and keeper of the grain - but now the keeper and protector of the Bread of Life. Let us protect the Lord.