Take a brief look at any image or icon you have of the Holy Family. Modern or ancient, icon or painting, they all have much the same format, and they tell us all we need to know.
Firstly they are a close knit group. The love which binds and unites them is evident. The protection and nurture which the family gives to the child is clearly portrayed.
Next, take note of the eyes of Mary and Joseph. Sometimes they look towards us, sharing their love and worship with us. Often the eyes of Joseph are fixed on Our Lady, emphasing his acceptance of God’s will. But most often the eyes of both parents are fixed on their son, in wonder and in deep adoration of their child and God’s Son.
And finally, look at the Christ-child - sometimes an infant, most often a child - fixed in the centre of the scene, often with arms outstretched in welcome, in invitation or in blessing. He is the focal point, the centre and purpose of the family and object of our love too. It is often as if the family is giving to us its very heart, its precious child. At the heart of this circle of love, is a most extraordinary sacrifice - a child for the salvation of the world.