His mother stored up all these things in her heart. (Luke 2:51)
Take a brief look at any image, icon or statue you have of the Holy Family. From the Christmas Crib itself, to any icon or painting, modern or ancient, they all have much the same format.
Almost all of these images have a basic heart shape. The two adult figures larger, to either side of the central figure of Jesus.
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. Three hearts which beat as one, bound to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Now, Take note of the eyes of Mary and Joseph. The aspect of the eyes portrays the disposition of the Hearts. 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 lastly, look at the Christ-child - sometimes an infant (as in the crib), but most often a child - cradled 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. This family does not look in upon itself, but outwards, to us. The family is giving to us its very heart, its offspring, its precious child.
So here, in this harmony of hearts, this image of love, is a most extraordinary sacrifice - a child for the salvation of the world.