FAMC18. 1 Samuel 1:20-22, 24-28. God was always active and involved in the lives of his Chosen People, the Israelites. He guided them through the prophets he personally appointed and raised up. In order to understand this first reading please read the first chapter of the book of Samuel. God answers the prayer of Hannah by allowing her to bear a son, Samuel. Through Samuel, God was to lead King David and his People to be a great nation. In the third reading God gives Mary a son Jesus to lead the peoples of all times to heaven.
Luke 2:41-52. Mary and Joseph are referred to as Jesus’ parents because Joseph is Jesus’ father by adoption. Joseph is, in effect, Jesus’ earthly father. God is still Jesus’s heavenly father but in part exercises his fatherly care through Joseph while Joseph is still alive. I believe this incident of the Holy Family in Jerusalem has been given in the Scriptures to further confirm that Jesus was both thoroughly human as well as thoroughly divine. Jesus’ divinity had to carefully keep enough of a distance from his humanity to allow his humanity to be fully human because his divinity is so incredibly powerful that his humanity would have been overwhelmed, if his divinity became too involved with his humanity. Around the age of twelve a Hebrew boy can celebrate his ceremonial age of becoming a man, his bar-mitzvah, fully responsible to follow the Law. Jesus in his humanness had achieved a certain level of maturity by the age of twelve that he was able to sit “in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions,” to the extent that “all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers.” However, at the age of twelve he had not yet gained the mindfulness to think of asking his parents for the permission to remain in Jerusalem. In no way did Jesus mean to reject obedience to his parents but was simply being thoughtless in his humanity. He was to grow yet further in his maturation process. This passage continues on saying, “He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them.” This gospel finishes by saying, “And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man.” In his divinity he was all-knowing and so could never learn more but in his humanity he needed to and did learn more and more as he grew older and older.
1 John 3:1-2, 21-24. “Beloved: See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God.” In our liturgy at the beginning of the ‘Our Father’ prayer it says, “We dare to say, Our Father.” How can we be so bold to call the Almighty Creator, Our Father’? Jesus, his son, made it clear that his Father wants to be a loving, caring Father, but also a demanding Father to us. His demand is that “we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another just as he commanded us. Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them.” By being obedient to his will, which means the same as keeping his commandments, we become his children and he, our Father. We are living in him and he; in us; he is our home and we are his home. In other words, we are at home with the Lord daily, sharing endless fellowship with the Lord, much in the same way we feel at home with our families, friends and fellow workers. The Holy Spirit enables us to be his obedient children, who grow in holiness daily, developing more and more in his likeness as his children, even while we live in a world that rejects God as our Father.
“We do not know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” I believe that means that, as God took our humanity through Mary, when we go to live as God’s children in heaven, he will share with us, in some way or another that is not known to us now, some of his divinity.