Holy Family – December 26, 2021

FamC21.    1 Samuel 1:20-22, 24-28.  Hannah, unable to bear a child, made a special prayer to God that she be able to bear a son.  God answered her prayer.  Hannah offered her son Samuel as one set aside to serve the Lord in whatever special way He desired.  Hannah said: “As long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the Lord.”  Also one day Jesus himself would leave his home in Nazareth to serve God his Father in a very special way.

Luke 2:41-52. Here Jesus was twelve years old, the age that a boy traditionally is considered to be maturing into becoming a man.  Jesus recognizes that not only are Mary and Joseph his earthly parents but also that God is his heavenly Father.  Not only did Jesus have an earthly home in Nazareth but also had a home in the Jerusalem temple where divinity made its earthly home.  My own understanding of this event is that the Holy Spirit inspired Jesus to be mindful of the ministry that one day he would be called to.  One sign that the Spirit had already been preparing him for his ministry was that the teachers or rabbis in the temple “were astounded at his understanding and his answers.”  Jesus was both human and divine.  So as to allow Jesus to develop as a genuine human being, his divinity had to step aside to let him mature naturally, as a creature of this world.  “And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man.”  For her part Mary found it quite challenging to raise Jesus, ‘God made man’.   Mary, “his mother, kept all these things in her heart.”

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.”  As children of God we are members of God’s family who are given the privilege of calling God our Father. (Matthew 6:9)  Genesis 1:27a&b says, “God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him.” We do not know now but “when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”  “Those who keep his commandments (that is “do what pleases him”) remain in him, and he in them, and the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit he gave us.”  Even while we are natural beings or creatures of this earth, we are called to live also supernaturally or holy.  The Holy Spirit gives us the breathe of divine life daily, so that, despite the fact that we are creatures of earth, we already have something of heaven in us because we live as God’s children.