44 Days of St. Joseph – March 30 – Head of the Holy Family

All analogies prove themselves insufficient, but it could be said that the Incarnation of Christ created something of an existential slipstream, a divine force whereby humanity was taken up into the divine. Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection doesn’t obliterate what is human, but sets it back on path, orients it truly to its divine end.

This is true as well of the human family.

Consider St. John Paul II’s reflection on how the mystery of the Incarnation changes the human family:

“Inserted directly in the mystery of the Incarnation, the Family of Nazareth has its own special mystery. And in this mystery, as in the Incarnation, one finds a true fatherhood: the human form of the family of the Son of God, a true human family, formed by the divine mystery. In this family, Joseph is the father: his fatherhood is not one that derives from begetting offspring; but neither is it an “apparent” or merely “substitute” fatherhood. Rather, it is one that fully shares in authentic human fatherhood and the mission of a father in the family. This is a consequence of the hypostatic union: humanity taken up into the unity of the Divine Person of the Word-Son, Jesus Christ. Together with human nature, all that is human, and especially the family – as the first dimension of man’s existence in the world – is also taken up in Christ. Within this context, Joseph’s human fatherhood was also “taken up” in the mystery of Christ’s Incarnation.” — St. John Paul II, Redemptoris Custos

St. Joseph was head of a specific family in a particular place and time. But because this was Christ’s family — this was the family of he who redeemed the human family — is there also a sense in which Joseph’s fatherhood, in Christ, extends over all holy families?

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