We have a few nativity scenes at our house. We received a very traditional scene as a wedding gift. We have a “child friendly” version that the kids set up each year, often adding friends like Barbie and Star Wars characters. And, we have one set that features Mary and Joseph together, as one figure, not separate. It is that set that is my favorite.
Mary and Joseph, together, were chosen and said yes to God. New parents face myriad responsibilities and pressures. Yet Mary and Joseph experienced parenthood in a way that I can hardly imagine. Certainly they felt great joy but also perhaps even fear. Their son, a gift from God, would love all of us, belong to all of us and save all of us throughout the ages. Together they loved, protected and then gave to all of us the Light of the World.
As parents we know that we are in effect working ourselves out of a job. Our children will become adults and hopefully help work in making the world a better place. It’s an amazing gift and awesome responsibility. When the time comes, we hope to launch our children into the world to share their gifts and talents, to find love, to perhaps raise families of their own. I can’t imagine at all what it must have been like for Mary and Joseph, but I know that they were in together.
Kate Kenny is the Communications Director for the U.S. Region of the Missionary Society of St. Columban.