by Andrew Craig
As I sit here and write, I am actually home visiting my family for the weekend. And something that I cannot stop thinking about is family, especially with the events and tragedies occurring in the world. There is nothing I am more thankful to God for than my family, both here in New York and from BC.
Family is not something that must be genetic. It is much more than that. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph are not your traditional family, yet together they create a beautiful family. There were bound to be disagreements, arguments, concerns among them, and yet, there were also times of laughter and joy. Part of me cannot help but think of a day when a boy Jesus and Mary were outside of their home, the young Jesus sitting on Mary’s lap. They sit, listening and watching the people pass by on the street. Mary teaches Jesus about new words, about the different birds in the sky, and about the ways one can appreciate life in all its forms. Joseph comes home, and they all sit and eat dinner together.
I have no idea what Jesus and his family were fully like, but I do think they had days like this. Days when everything was calm and all right. Days when there was no arguing or danger in the area and when a peace hung in the air. Yes, there were bound to be days of worry, strife, and fear, but those days strengthened them as a family. In those moments of fear, one knows that he can turn to his family and to God. And in those moments of peace, of calm, and of happiness, one can still turn to God, not out of fear but out of thanks. The image comes to mind, of Mary, kneeling to pray each night, just as she did when God came to her for the first time. However, now she thinks about her day, her life with her family that God has given her. She prays for strength. She also prays in thanksgiving for her family, her safety, and the love she receives from God each day.
In light of the world, of all that is happening, I feel comfort and thanks to God for the family I have, both in New York and at BC. The love I feel through my families is incalculable for me. Unceasing care. That is what comes to mind when I think of what makes up a family. That is what flows through my thoughts right now as I think about God’s love, reaching to us in the Church, in our friends, and in our family. An unceasing care, a place to turn to in times of distress, but also a place of serenity, of peace, and of thanksgiving. I think of the moment when I see someone I care for with all of my heart. I let that joy come through my soul. I hold it close to me, and remember that that is the joy God feels when He sees us, His family.