Sat, 29 December 2018
(1Sm.1:1:20-22,24-28; Ps.84:2-3,5-6,9-10; 1Jn.3:1-2,21-24; Lk.2:41-52)
“Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
If Hannah says of Samuel, “As long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the Lord” even as she leaves her son with Eli in the temple, should not Jesus be equally dedicated to God, being His true Son? If as John rightfully says of all those who live in God’s love and follow His commandments, “We are God’s children now,” how much greater a child of God is He who serves to make us children? And so, where should He be but the temple of the Lord?
But Jesus’ parents do not look for Him there, indeed are “astonished” to find Him there – and thus perplexed at His answer to them – because they have no word that He will be like Samuel, that they are to leave Him in “the midst of the teachers.” Surely Mary knows of her own kinship with Hannah, for this is indicated clearly in her Magnificat, which mirrors so closely Hannah’s own canticle of praise upon conceiving her son. But that Jesus should be separated from them at this time, that He should in essence begin His ministry, begin plying the leaders of the people with revelatory questions so that “all who heard Him were astounded at His understanding and His answers,” now, at twelve years of age, is not known to them. Thirty is the customary age for the start of one’s ministry, is it not? And their Son has not even reached His bar mitzvah yet!
It must be noted that Jesus gives place to the customs of the race. We are told “He went down with [Joseph and Mary] and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them.” Though certainly the Son of God is prepared to teach even as He begins to talk, yet He does not remain in the temple at this time. He is obedient. And obedient particularly to Mary, who shall indeed indicate to Him the start of His ministry, at Cana. And He shall be obedient there to her, too, even though He says then that it is not His time.
The Son must be in the Father’s house, for more than any of God’s children His “soul yearns and pines for the courts of the Lord. [His] flesh and [His] heart cry out for the living God.” His heart is ever “set upon the pilgrimage,” for in the temple is His home. But the truly Beloved Child of God remains among us in our mundane lives, taking the cross of earthly existence upon Himself, enduring all for the sake of God’s children. And through His Mother’s intercession even “Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man.” So may we all. So may we all be so obedient, so prepared for the Father’s House.
Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.
Music: "Heaven" from Listening to the Lamp, ninth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.
O LORD, remain in us and let us remain in you.
YHWH, your Spirit you give us to make us your children, to make us even your very temples. Let us remain in your House always!
One with the Holy Family let us become, blessed as Joseph and Mary, and your Son Jesus, blessed to be called your own – blessed to be one with all your chosen ones in the heavenly kingdom. O LORD, remain in us!
If we must leave our earthly family behind, so be it, LORD. If we must leave the caravan of our relatives and friends to enter your Temple, to remain with you, let us freely answer such a blessed call and dedicate ourselves to you alone. And if we must return to the house of our mother and father, let us be obedient to them in your Name. But wherever we are and whatever we do, let our lives be a holy offering to you.
Our souls yearn for your courts, O LORD; our heart and our flesh cry out for you. O let us dwell in your House! Let our prayer come to your ears that we might be your beloved children, pleasing you in all things and growing unto your kingdom.