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***SPOILER ALERT*****SPOILER ALERT***
***If you have not yet seen THE RISE OF SKYWALKER and you don’t want me to spoil any parts of it before you see it . . . read this later.***
Years ago when my husband and I started the adoption process a co-worker and friend approached me and said something like,
“I have to tell you what you are doing is beautiful. In the Jewish faith, adoption is one of the greatest things you can do.”
As a Catholic school teacher, this friend and co-worker was a rare find. She practiced her Jewish faith but taught math in a Catholic school. I always remembered that moment she shared with me.
Those kind words were not only a compliment and blessing from a friend, but a glimpse into the faith of modern Judaism . . . and roots that remain from ancient tradition.
In the recent film of the Star Wars franchise, the infamous Luke Skywalker states:
“Some things are stronger than blood”.
Once again, my heart strings felt a tug.
Adoption in Sacred Scripture
For some, adoption is not a thought that runs across the mind on a regular basis, if at all.
For the Christian, it may be a topic glazed over or pondered upon when Scripture readings like
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will…
Maybe we thought a little about adoption when we hear the story of Saint Joseph and the birth of Jesus.
For me, I have scratched my head when I noticed that when Jesus’ roots are traced back to David, they are traced through Saint Joseph – we know and are clearly told that Joseph is not the biological or natural father of Jesus. We often hear the term “foster father”.
But the answer lies in the beauty of adoption my Jewish friend Lisa was referring too.
As stated in a homily written by Father Joe:
But the Gospel also makes it clear that Joseph was not the natural or birth father of the Lord. Mary was a Virgin. The child was conceived through the Holy Spirit. So, why is Jesus seen as part of the line of David through Joseph? This is because Joseph names the child. For the ancients this meant he had made the child his own. We can even say that he adopted the child. Now we view adoption as a legal procedure. The ancients viewed adoption as both a legal act and a spiritual act. When a man adopted a child, all that made that man who he is, his background, his ancestry, all of this poured out upon the child. When Joseph named the child, adopted the child, King David, King Solomon, and all that was part of Joseph’s ancestry became part of Jesus’ ancestry. The prophets predicted that the Messiah would come through the line of David. This takes place through Joseph.
Look at what adoption encompasses both in the Jewish tradition . . .
When a man adopted a child,
all that made that man who he is,
his background, his ancestry,
all of this poured out upon the child.
When Joseph named the child, adopted the child,
Kind David, King Solomon, and all that was part of Joseph’s ancestry became part of Jesus’ ancestry.
Joseph became so much more than a foster father. In adopting Jesus, he not only gave Our Lord himself as a parent, but his father and mother became Jesus’ grandparents, and their parents became great-grandparents and all the way back to David became Jesus’ family.
The Significance of a Name
Now back to Luke Skywalker.
Luke was speaking to Rey when he said,
“Some things are stronger than blood”.
Rey was not the biological daughter of Luke. She’s not the daughter of Leah. But both Luke and Leah, in a sense, adopted her.
Rey eventually takes on the name, Skywalker.
When Luke assures Rey that she has all she needs to defeat the Dark Side, he gives her the lightsaber of Leah to use in addition to his own.
Luke assures Rey all of the Jedi will be with her.
In her final battle with the Emperor, you hear the voices of former Jedi.
Yoda, Obi Wan and all who were a part of Jedi history become part of Rey’s history.
The Spiritual Realm of adoption is made visible to the viewer. The reality of that history helped her to defeat the Dark Side and become a Jedi herself.
Spiritual Traditions and Adoption
The beauty of adoption.
The bond greater than blood.
The fact that family transcends time.
The power of those who have come before us.
The Parallels in the Jewish and Jedi Traditions seem undeniable. (And parallels have been written about by others in general – just google Judaism and Jedi and you’ll see what I mean)
Now think about this . . .
In observing the beauty of adoption, we do not downplay the importance of the natural/biological family.
Rey’s parents sacrificed for their daughter to have life.
Rey’s life wasn’t full of wealth or absent of hardship. But her life was of great value.
Mary is not dismissed or made less important because Jesus’ lineage is traced through Joseph.
God does not deny His Son.
Valuing adoption. Recognizing it’s beauty, does not threaten anyone.
Don’t let those who don’t want to hear about it make you believe that.
So what do both Saint Joseph and Luke Skywalker teach us about adoption?
- Adoption is so much more than a legal process.
- That in this day and age where testing our DNA and finding out our ancestral roots and biological connections seem to become increasingly popular, “some things are greater than blood.”
- Life is so much more than what is physical. The values we hold dear to us are very much a part of what is real.
- Don’t listen to the Dark Side.
- We are not alone.We are the adopted sons and daughters of Our God. The Creator of Heaven and Earth.The bond that love has is real.His love transcends time.
The Communion of Saints cheer for us as we strive to fight the darkness.
Considering Adoption? Dear Couple Considering Adoption,
Want to read more about adoption?Adoption: 5 Myths Every Pro-Lifer Needs to Stop Believing
I just love the insights about spiritual adoption, and how all the lineage is passed to the adopted child. Great post and fun connection to pop culture.
Carissa Pluta says
This is such an interesting comparison! I loved reading more about the significance adoption held in the Jewish faith. It really brings scripture to life and helps me better understand the beauty of our roles as adopted sons and daughters of God.