Is it so unrealistic for the Church to offer the Holy Family as a model to all our families?  Perhaps the roles of mother and father may merge, but the basic action of being a family, of love revolving around the child is very realistic.  Like Joseph, fathers, with their wives, must protect their families from the forces of the world that would destroy the family.  Herod might not be sending the troops to kill all infants, but the forces of evil have sent drugs, licentiousness, and materialism to kill the souls of our children.  Both fathers and mothers protect their child, protect their family.  Like Mary, mothers and fathers must embrace their role as nurturing their children.  This is not just with physical food, but with the care to help their children learn how to seek and find the presence of God in their lives.  Mothers and fathers must also nurture their children with spiritual food.  As the children witness their parents demanding that they chose right over wrong, giving over selfishness, as they see their parents caring for people who are hurting, the children will be fed the food that makes a Christian a following of Christ.  Our families should revolve around the love of the children.  They are only yours for a brief time.  They demand all your attention.  Then they leave to form their own families, but because of them their parents are better people, people who have sacrificed for them and who have thus made the love of God real for the world.  All in all a great model!

Reposing infant-like, as though on Joseph’s arm, or Mary’s knee!