Alongside Christmas, the feast of the Holy Family helps reveal the wonder of Our Lord’s Incarnation and humanity. One can see this beautiful reality when one considers the Holy Family as an icon of the Trinity.
Part of the Mystery of the Incarnation is the fact that God not only became man, but that He joined Himself to a human family. This reveals that God desires His human creatures—His image-bearers—to play essential roles in redemptive history. We rarely ponder how incredible this is!
Think about it for a moment: the Holy Trinity entrusted two humans with the tremendous role of raising one of Its “members” (astonishing!). The whole world could not contain God, yet He placed Himself inside the womb of a human mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. God created angelic beings with the power to collapse the universe, yet He chose a lowly human man as a guardian and foster-father, St. Joseph.
When we reflect on the nature of the Holy Trinity, we see that the human family itself teaches us about God. The Trinity is a loving, self-giving unity of three Divine Persons—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit—in one Divine Being. Their loving union is procreative, in that the Holy Trinity brings creatures into existence to share in Its divine love for all eternity.
Likewise, a husband and wife join in a loving, self-giving, procreative union. Therefore, it is not merely individual man and woman that bear the image of God, but also the human family itself, because together they form a union of love from which proceeds the fruitfulness of children. For this reason, Pope Benedict XVI called the human family an icon of the Holy Trinity:
“God wished to reveal Himself by being born in a human family, and hence the human family has become an icon of God . . . The human family is, in a certain sense, the icon of the Trinity because of the love between its members and the fruitfulness of that love.”
Today, on the feast of the Holy Family, let us all ponder the beauty of the family and be inspired by the divine mysteries it reveals.
The reality of the Holy Family is worth pondering. While we are often reminded to consider the lives of Jesus and Mary, we can sometimes forget the quiet and profound life of St. Joseph. However, St. Joseph’s life is essential to understanding the Holy Family and is a striking example for us all. Learn more about the life of one of the most powerful and unknown saints in the engaging book, The Life of St. Joseph as Seen by the Mystics. Available today from The Catholic Company!