Saturday, 26 December 2009

Roots and wings

Today we move from Christmas itself to tomorrow's feast of the Holy Family. As I was in Bethlehem a few months ago, today's picture is one I took myself of a wall plaque I saw in the Milk Grotto, which commemorates the Holy Family stopping as they moved on from the manger.
The child is a little older, but I like the way that Mary's gestures are portrayed. One arm is around her precious Son as he reaches out to the world. Meanwhile, her other arm is somehow letting him go, in a movement which echoes his. This seems to be the dilemma of parents with their children (and of God with us) - to protect and to let go, and both at the same time! To give roots and wings... Getting it right isn't always easy, and it wasn't for Mary and Joseph either, as we find out in this Sunday's Gospel, of the Finding in the Temple.
We pray for all our families and for family life itself in our time.

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