Monday, December 29, 2014

Strong and Filled with Wisdom

The Sixth Day in the Octave of Christmas

By Melanie Rigney

Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, sensual lust, enticement from the eyes, and a pretentious life, is not from the Father but is from the world. Yet the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever. (1 John 2:15-17)

Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice! (Psalms 96:11)

(The prophetess Anna) never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to who all were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. (Luke 2:37-38)

Lord, I recall the words of Blessed Euphrasia of the Sacred Heart of Jesus: “My joy is to live a hidden life unknown to all. Help me to find quiet in You.

And so, the Presentation at the Temple complete, Luke draws a curtain over the life of the child Jesus, other than to say the family returned to Nazareth and Jesus “grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.” The next time we see Jesus, he’s twelve years old.

What were those intervening years like, when Jesus teethed and learned to talk and walk? Did he have colic? Was he ever a fussy baby? Who were his friends? What did he play? When did he go into the shop to learn Joseph’s carpenter trade? What were his favorite foods? What did the Holy Family talk about at dinner or when he was being tucked into bed?

We’ll never know, of course. But we do know he was both fully divine and fully humane. Personally, I like to think of him as the typical child of Nazareth… perhaps a little smarter and more thoughtful than most, but one who enjoyed his playtime as well as his prayer time. One who loved his parents dearly, and loved his Father in heaven, even at a very young age, even more. One who had lots of friends, because who couldn’t love the young Jesus, and perhaps a few who were jealous of the ease with which he moved through life.

Maybe Jesus’s early years were just as remarkable and unremarkable as our own, or those of our children and grandchildren. And maybe they were nothing like ours. One thing is certain: he had earthly parents who were devoted to him and watched his growth with pride and love. And perhaps, that’s a gift we can all aspire to help provide to the children in our own lives.

Spend some time in prayer with the child Jesus.

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