Reflection—v.24, ‘a pair of turtledoves and two young pigeons’
We must never forget that the Holy Family—Jesus, Mary, and Joseph—were poor. Forced to shelter in the crude ‘cat-hole’ of a stable, Mary gave birth among the dirt and smells of live-stock. This we know, even if we do not always take it fully to heart. Then, as Luke tells it, Mary and Joseph came eight days later to dedicate their newborn amid the imposing structures of the Jerusalem Temple. All they had to give was the offering of the poor: ‘a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons.’ The Holy Family is in every way a poor, homeless family, with nowhere to go and no resources at their disposal, cast to the winds by the caprice of a policy made by those with more wealth and power than them. We must not forget their poverty—that God, in becoming one of us, also became poor—because we must never forget the holiness of all families. We must not forget the sacredness of all children and women and men who have nowhere to go and too few resources, coming in and out of our indifferent institutions, perhaps sleeping in their shadows, invisible and unseen.
Prayer Christ, all families–all people–are holy; help me see everyone as sacred.