This is a beautiful painting. Yet, I think something is wrong. It’s not the technical expertise, that is very good, or the colors, they are well chosen.
I believe it is St. Joseph himself. He is too far away from Mary.
He would have been much closer to her, to give her comfort and to be quickly aware of any of her needs. He would have been much closer to the donkey’s head, holding the reins softly yet securely in order to prevent any bucks or missteps that the animal might be in mind to give.
The rope shows a distance, a separation, between them. Possibly it indicates the separation that a husband experiences when his wife is in the last days, or hours, before the birth. It is a separation because no husband can understand or experience his wife’s physical pain, her labor, and her extreme maternal joy at the moment of birth.
But, on this night, as they slowly travel toward Bethlehem, they are not separated at all. They are united in their humility, the silent secrets of their own thoughts, and their total obedience and trust in God’s will, and, each other.
May you be united to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph this Christmas Day and throughout the New Year. Glory be to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen. Alleluia.
Merry Christmas from my home to yours!
** I have not been able to discover the artist of the above painting. If anyone knows who he or she is please comment and I’ll give the proper credit. Thanks
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