Occasionally our faith is so incredibly incarnational that it seems almost scandalous to think about. The beauty of God becoming man and walking the earth can almost seem too much to bear. Consider each morning in the home of the Holy Family. Joseph could wake up every morning and walk over to Jesus’ room, open the door and say, “Good morning, God.” The climax of human history is that our God became man and dwelt among us.
To express ourselves in accordance with the paradox of the Incarnation we can certainly say that God gave himself a human face, the Face of Jesus, and consequently, from now on, if we truly want to know the Face of God, all we have to do is to contemplate the Face of Jesus! In his Face we truly see who God is and what he looks like! (Pope Benedict XVI, 6 September 2006)
The home in which Joseph lived was by definition a temple because God, the Word Incarnate, dwelt there! Joseph lived and breathed every day in the temple of his very home. Joseph went about his daily routine in the presence of God.
No man has gazed upon Christ with the love and affection of St. Joseph. His eyes have seen, ears have heard, hands have touched, arms have carried and heart has been set on fire by the glory of the Lord. Invite St. Joseph into your life so that he may help to set your heart on fire with the love of God and love for your children.
Close your eyes and imagine looking into the eyes of your child in the morning and saying, “Good morning, God.” Reflect upon how that might transform your life and your home. Ponder to yourself if that knowledge would change the way your raise him or her.
You do not have to imagine any longer. Listen and contemplate deeply these words of Christ, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me” (Matthew 18:5).
If you have the eyes of faith, you are called to find the hidden face of Christ dwelling in your midst. If you have the ears to hear it, at times you are even called to hear God speak to you through your children. Like the Holy Family, your home is called to be a temple where the Lord dwells, the domestic church. Like the Holy Family, even if perhaps more hidden, you can truly find the face of God in your midst.
I believe we all understand that our children are not God Incarnate, but in a mystical yet real way Jesus Christ still resides hidden within them. The more you contemplate it, the more you will discover this awesome mystery. The more you discover the mystery, the more your life and your home will be transformed. It is the home that will renew the world. “The future of the world and of the Church passes through the family” (John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio).
Recalling our contemplation from yesterday, it is no wonder John Paul II could give us such a simple ‘program’ to follow. With St. Joseph as your guide, set out with renewed hope seeking the hidden face of Christ in your midst.
If you are not yet married with children, you can still seek the hidden face of Christ in others. Blessed Mother Teresa founded an entire religious order on this principle and spent her entire life doing so. She found that within the poorest of the poor dwelt the hidden face of Jesus, resonating the words spoken from Christ, “Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, that you do unto me” (Matthew 25:40).
Christ awaits us in others. Seek and you will find him.
Heavenly Father, open my eyes that I may find your hidden face dwelling in others, especially my wife and children. Inspire me to learn from St. Joseph and from the marvelous mysteries of the life of the Holy Family. Help me to make my heart and my home a worthy sanctuary for you. Come dwell within me, O Lord. “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere” (Psalm 84:10).
St. Joseph, take me to Nazareth and train me in your ways. Help me to exclude all evil from my heart and my home. Amen.