Thursday, December 29, 2011

I Am Your Shield

December 30, 2011

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

By Melanie Rigney

The word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying: “Fear not, Abram! I am your shield; I will make your reward very great.” (Genesis 15:1)

How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the LORD. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. (Psalms 24:2-3)

(The prophetess Anna) gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. (Luke 2:38)


Shield me, Lord, from the challenges of this world. Guide me safely to Your dwelling place.


“Jesus: The Early Years.” It sounds like a great TV miniseries. Except we don’t know much about those early years, beyond his presentation at the temple, the subject of today’s Gospel, and then when they go to Jerusalem for Passover when Jesus is twelve and is separated from Mary and Joseph.

There’s something lovely about that lack of knowledge. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph’s time together may have been as unremarkable as most of our childhoods were—meals together, prayers together, love and laughter together, maybe a few skinned knees. Perhaps of those who were present for the temple presentation wondered at Anna and Simeon’s words: could this helpless infant truly be the Messiah?

On second thought, “Jesus: The Early Years” might not make a great miniseries. There might not be much violence or intrigue or drama or tragedy. But without it, we wouldn’t have the sequel that has fascinated the world for centuries.


Put away life’s drama, and spend some quiet time with your family this evening.