The eighth of the Twelve Days of Christmas

From the studio of Timothy Schmalz

The Twelve Days begin on Christmas Day and end on January 5, the day before the traditional date for Epiphany.  On these 12 days between Christmas and Epiphany, we'll look at some images of Mary and Joseph and Jesus.  For previous entries, click here. Twelve Days 2012
The Eighth of the Twelve Days of Christmas: January 1 

Rare are the pieces showing Jesus in Joseph's arms when Mary is nearby but certainly there were many times when the two delighted in the baby they cared for and raised. A number of paintings image Joseph off to the side, chin in hand, looking confused or worried - or both. Although we know little of Joseph after the infancy accounts, there's no reason for us not to imagine his gentle, loving care for his foster-son.

Mary and Joseph,
what joy you must have taken in this child
when, finally, you were able to settle down...

First the trip to be enrolled in Bethlehem;
then the unusual visitors 

from the heavens, from the fields, and from the East;
then fleeing to Egypt for his safety...

Finally back in Nazareth,
how grateful you must have been
just to be home, with your baby...

What joy you must have taken in showing him off
to your family and neighbors!
Did they think him as beautiful a child as you did?

Did you sit, as parents do, simply watching him?
Watching him sleep, watching his every move?

Did you look into his eyes to see if he knew you?

And what did you see in his eyes?

Do you remember his first word?
God's Word made flesh, just beginning to speak?

Do you remember seeing him smile and laugh
for the first time?

And his first step: 
did you wonder where his path would take him?
Could you have dreamed or imagined
all that came to pass?

In these days after Christmas,
bring us home to be with him,
to hold him in our hearts,
to wait for his smiles and words of love
and to trust that he speaks them now to us...


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