Looking further at the Icon
The Holy Family Icon is a picture of Communion, of the tenderness of God, and of Life.
- It is, therefore, an icon reflecting the Trinity.
- It is a picture of the Church, of her espousal to Christ and her fruitfulness which springs forth through the mystery of the union of man and woman and the … (abundance) of their love. (Genesis 1: 27-28)
- It is an icon of a married couple, wherein each spouse finds his/her own personal identity through each’s diverse gifts and through their union as a couple.
- It is an icon of each individual being, yet simultaneously one in three.
In addition, many other mysteries of the icon are waiting to be revealed to those who take the time to look for them. Some of these mysteries are explicit, such as, the attitudes of Mary and Joseph – their great tenderness and confidence, the Child whom they support together, He Who is both Word of God and Source of their love. The hands of the Holy Family, joined together, evoke the covenant that exists between Christ and the couple in marriage.
We can go even further and enter into the heart of this mystery of the couple, this “icon” of God par excellence, to discover that through the diversity of gifts and of character, each being is at one and the same time man, woman, and child, son or daughter of God, the total “fruit” ascending towards the Light.
The woman symbolizes the heart, the interior of one’s being, and hence her royal robes of purple and red. One’s total being is in profound harmony when a pure and holy heart reigns over interior chaos and brings forth unity: “You are a kingly people…”
The man symbolizes a priestly character, one’s exterior being. It is he who offers, who protects, who works, who sacrifices and hence his robe of brown (an earthly color and symbol of asceticism) and of dark blue (a symbol of faith announcing a dawn).
From the images of each of these two beings, expressed as a couple united in love, is born a Child robed in light (cloak of striped orange and gold) and plentitude (white tunic), the fruit of a lifetime. But the Child is also at the origin of this Life, Servant of this work of God modelled patiently in each one of us. The Servant bears the yoke on His shoulder (Isaias 42) designated by the shoulder strap or the deacon’s stole.
Consequently, as with every icon, this picture of the Holy Family, this “Word in Image,” is an undying source of reflection. It tells of God, of His mystery revealed through creation and revelation. “This mystery is great,” says St. Paul. It is revealed through a multitude of signs to those who know how to seek, welcome, and open themselves in silence.
Extract from the cover leaf of “Teams of Our Lady – In the beginning”. Printed on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of The Teams Charter by Teams of Our Lady in United States of America – Fall 1987.