In this Christmas season we celebrate that Jesus has come among us to free us from our enslavement to sin and to restore the dignity of our human nature. With Christ dwelling richly within us, we are empowered to answer our divine callings.
In the gospel Jesus models this by spending time in his “Father’s house,” listening carefully and learning from the teachers. Because of this faithfulness, he increased in wisdom and “in divine and human favor.” Likewise, Samuel learned from the scriptures. This helped him to grow both in stature and “in favor with the Lord and with the people.”
Both Jesus and Samuel are young boys in today’s texts, yet they’re already in the temple answering their unique calls. This illuminates that as God’s children, with the Spirit at work within us, it is never too soon to begin the work of ministry.
The Colossians text instructs us, as God’s chosen ones, to clothe ourselves with love. Humility and the attributes of a servant will enable us to forgive one another and live in peace. In addition, a heart of gratitude is important.
Together, these scriptures help us recognize that each one of us is called through our baptism. God seals us with the Holy Spirit and sets about to transform us through that call. As we answer it, we become who God intends us to be.
Gospel: Luke 2:41-52
Jesus grew up in a family that went to the Passover festival each year. It was in this environment of faithful adherence to the law that Jesus grew into spiritual maturity and an understanding of his identity and mission.
41Now every year [Jesus’] parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. 42And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. 43When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. 44Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. 45When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. 46After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” 49He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50But they did not understand what he said to them. 51Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.
52And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.”