I love the simplicity of this piece. It features just the heads of Joseph, Jesus, and Mary joined in a loving embrace of each other. This will be one of the first works of art you will see when you enter my front door.
I imagine that one of the reasons the Holy Family were so closely united was because of the hardships they had been through together: Joseph and a pregnant Mary traveling from Nazareth to Bethlehem; the birth of Jesus in a cattle stall; fleeing the terror of being hunted by Herod the Great; and, being refugees in a foreign land.
Such hardship would necessarily bind you together or drive you apart. With God’s help their hardships bound them together. What are your hardships doing to you?
When I traveled to Israel with my oldest son, we also went to Egypt. We visited Saint Catherine’s Monastery at the base of Mount Sinai and spent a night on the Red Sea coast. Then we traveled on to Cairo. While in Cairo, we visited a Christian enclave in the city, and I was surprised to see the ways in which they celebrated that their Lord had once lived where they lived.
When I write it that way, it does not seem surprising to me. After all, if Jesus had ever lived in our town, county, state, or country you can bet that we would be glad about it and celebrate it! So, I think perhaps I should say that I was not expecting what I experienced.
I have included just one example of how they celebrated Jesus’ presence in Egypt: a map that was outside the door of a church in Cairo. This map shows the traditional route of the Holy Family coming to, traveling in, and leaving Egypt. Imagine having your hometown on that map.
Jesus is alive and living wherever you are!