St. Joseph is at work in his carpentry shop. Although the name of the picture doesn't mention Jesus, we presume that the young boy holding the light for Joseph is his Son Jesus. Joseph is a working man. His face and hands and clothing tell his story. It's hard to tell exactly, but Joseph is half looking at Jesus and half at the work in his hand.
Father and son don't speak but you feel there is a great deal of communication between them. Joseph is sober and wise looking as he peers out at his son deep in thought. This boy was a miraculous gift to him and his wife Mary. Who will he grow up to be? Although Joseph is the adult taking up two thirds of the picture, it is the face of Jesus that you first notice. His face is the bright focal point of the painting and the candle he holds allows us to see Joseph as well. Jesus is the brightness in this otherwise dark and sober setting. He looks at Joseph and seems in awe as he watches his father working. In time, he will do more than just hold the light. He is ready and eager to help but he is also watchful and respectful.
Is your day to day life dark and weary and hard? Jesus, as God's Son came to earth to bring God's light into every dark corner of the world. He wants to "hold the light" for you. He wants to help -- to listen. He is eager to do so. But, he will be respectful of your life. He will be a gentleman and wait for your invitation. He knocks but you must answer.
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." Revelations 3:20
"Let the light of your face shine upon us O Lord." Psalms 4:6b
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