Extent: Paperback

Publisher: Veritas

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In Holy Families, Shadows of the Trinity, Megan McKenna invi, 10th Jan 2019

Reviewer: Clare Cromie-O’Toole, Shillelagh, Co Wicklow

In Holy Families, Shadows of the Trinity, Megan McKenna invites us to reflect on the formation of the Holy Family as a model for our own lives. She challenges us to think beyond the Nativity story, one that is often, and rightly so, bathed in the warm light of Christmas joy.
McKenna reminds us, however, that the life of the Holy Family began long before that lovely scene under the star of Bethlehem. It began with surprise, concern and a profound disruption of well-laid plans. It began with Mary and Joseph surrendering completely to God’s plan for their lives. It began, as so many families do, with a promise: a commitment to love and serve others.
God’s chosen family was not an obvious choice. Mary and Joseph were not only as ordinary as they come, but their union was also less than legitimate in the eyes of Jewish law. The story of the first family is one of faithfulness in the face of opprobrium, hardship, poverty and forced exile.
McKenna invites us to reflect on the experiences of the Holy Family, not just as a relic of the past, but also as a personal invitation for our own lives, a roadmap for our own journey of discipleship. What if God is asking us, each and every one of us, to bring his child into the world?
The author’s insights are enriched by interweaving biblical accounts of the struggles and triumphs of faith of the Holy Family with Jewish, Native American and African folklore. These stories from other cultures and faith traditions illuminate and accompany the universal truths embedded in the story of the Holy Family, reminding us that God’s light reaches every corner of the earth.

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Veritas Publications

Holy Families

by Megan Mckenna


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'The triune God is a communion of love, and the family is its living reflection.’

These words, taken from Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), have inspired celebrated theologian Megan McKenna to explore how and why families are the living embodiment of Christian values and teachings. In Holy Families: Shadows of the Trinity, readers are invited to view the key scriptural accounts of the Holy Family as providing a model and template for families today.

By focusing on the inevitable triumphs and travails that are part and parcel of marriage and child-rearing, the author teases out the very real links between the challenges experienced by Joseph, Jesus and Mary, and those facing families in the contemporary world. Reflecting on key Gospel events – the Annunciation and Visitation, the Presentation, and the Resurrection among them – this book explores how fathers, children and mothers are shadows of the image of God the Father, the Child and the Spirit in the Trinity and are the very presence of God in the community and the world.

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