This past weekend was a whirlwind of celebration! On Friday evening I attended the wedding of my cousin’s youngest child (now 35 years old!). It was a happy gathering of family, cousins once living two blocks from each other whose neighbors couldn’t keep straight which of the ten of us belonged to which parents. Now spread across the country and even in Europe, most with children and grandchildren who rarely see each other, it was as if we had never left Newton Corner. The amazement for me was the interest and true delight with which the next generation embraced each of us. They are such nice people – and they belong, in a very real way, to me. The family line continues in a way of which I can be very proud!
The next morning I was again privileged to participate in a celebratory “family” event. Each year the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, the Roman Catholic religious community of which I am a part, celebrates those who have reached significant milestones in their commitment to God and our Congregation. This year we celebrated women who have served for 50, 60, 70 and 80 (yes, that was 80) years of love and service. Different in kind, our gathering was as joyful as the wedding. Sisters and our lay associates came from all over the country and our singing and sharing was a fitting reminder to us of how fortunate we are to be part of such a community.
Today, on the feast of St. Joseph – husband of Mary, who with her parented Jesus – the Scriptures remind us of the family line to which Joseph belonged. He was, the Scriptures say, “of the house and family of David” – the great, beloved king of Israel with whom God made a covenant of everlasting faithfulness. From what little the Scriptures tell us of Joseph, we know at least that he was a just man, choosing always the ways of God, especially in his relationships with his family. He was a loving and kind father to Jesus and a faithful husband to his wife – a credit to his family line and crucial to the accomplishment of the mission of Jesus.
Gratitude wells up in me as I think of the “families” of which I am a part: my own genetic family, my religious community, my Church and the local parishes that have touched my life, the communities in which I have lived in Massachusetts and New York and all those whom I call friend. All of these groups and individuals have informed my life and my choices and it is through and with them that I see the faithfulness of God, the covenant that God has made down through the ages and now, forever, to me.