The modern world in which we live exalts freedom and so the world does not like the word ‘law’. The word ‘law’ conjures up for us a whole series of uncomfortable feelings centred around the concept of unjust restrictions. The term ‘law’ however has other connotations, one of which is to point in the correct direction. When we follow the law, we go in the appropriate direction.
I thought about that as I read the Gospel presented to us for our meditation on this the Feast of the Holy Family because the phrase “as required by the Law of the Lord” is a refrain which is repeated four times during the narrative. What is important for us though is the result of Mary and Joseph’s doing what the law required. We are told: “The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him.”