Marriage & Family Life: God relies on us to help his saving work

by Adam Storey | December 22, 2021

Adam Storey

As the Year of St. Joseph came to a close, I decided to reread portions of "To be a Father with Saint Joseph” by Fabrice Hadjadj.

In a reflection on the Holy Family’s flight to Egypt, Fabrice points out that Joseph is “the only man who has the privilege of saving the Savior” and he asks what it means for Holy Family to be put in this perilous situation. Why did God choose to become vulnerable? Why does he rely on fallible human beings for his safety and wellbeing? Why does he not dispel all threats with his power and might? 

As we approach the Feast of the Holy Innocents, I think it is worth pondering the mystery of God’s choice to become vulnerable, and to ponder our call to live as Christians in a hostile world.

As Fabrice points out, “If by some unfathomable design of the Lord, we find ourselves in these adverse times and places, it is because it is here, and not elsewhere, that we find our mission; here, and not elsewhere, that we have to deploy our fruitfulness.”

The Incarnation is a beacon of hope in a dark world, it is a promise that God’s Kingdom is on the way, and for those of us who know the story, it is the beginning of God’s victory over death and sin. At the same time, the Incarnation is vulnerable, and silent, and easy to overlook.

This Christmas, I hope the vulnerability of the Incarnation can lead us all to reflect on our mission to be Christ’s continued presence in the world today.

As God relied on St. Joseph, he relies on us and he empowers us to participate in his saving work.

Just as it was for St. Joseph, that work will often be perilous and hidden. We often will not see the fruits of our labor. And yet, we can also be confident that just as God sustained St. Joseph, so too will he sustain us. This Christmas season it is worth reflecting on our call to incarnate God’s love, and peace, and healing in the world.

It is worth asking how God calls us to face a hostile world, and where God is sending us on mission. St. Joseph, pray for us!

Adam Storey

Adam Storey leads the Marriage Ministry Department for the Diocese of Des Moines, which seeks to work with parishes and couples, walking with all families in all their stages, in their joys and sorrows, their celebrations and challenges.