“THE NEW TEMPLE—THE NEW YOU”
Saint Luke 2. 41-52
First Sunday after The Epiphany: 12 January Anno Domini 2014
Fr. Jay Watson SSP
In The Name + of Jesus
The Holy Family went up to Jerusalem because that is what Christians do; by the gift of the Holy Ghost. Followers of the Lord follow Him. Christians are drawn to Christ. They had the God/Man with them in Nazareth, in their hands, but the Lord wanted them in Jerusalem at His special house where He tabernacled with His flock. The city of Jerusalem was the city of Peace—God’s special peace. It was where the sacrifices were made; it was where incense was offered up, prayers and Psalms were sung, and where blood was spilled.
The Blessed Mother, the Guardian of our Lord, and The Christ went to Shalom to celebrate the Passover. The Passover, and it’s following Exodus, was “the” salvific act of the entire Old Testament. But it was more than deliverance of the Hebrew slaves…then…it was the “type” pointing directly to the Cross and ultimate Passover—the Passover of your sin. If you ever take your sins and your sinful condition a bit too lightly or cavalierly (which you do every day, every moment) look up at the Crucifix and see what your sins demanded.
The blessed physician, Saint Luke the Evangelist, records this event (no doubt shared with him by Saint Mary) because the Lord was 12 years old. 12 is the number of God’s people—the 12 tribes of Jacob/Israel reconstituted in the 12 Apostles—the Office giving the gifts of the Giver: Christ! It was THE FEAST because blood was spilled. Moses wrote by the Holy Ghost “in the blood is life.”
Any earthly savior can talk about helping people, usually by breaking the 7th commandment; robbing one group of their money and resources to redistribute either to their own cache of mammon or to a group of sycophants and “house slaves” (let the reader understand) but a real savior gives his very own actions and life…and blood. The Savior is Jesus. It’s not just His Name it is His Person! The Savior is God. The God/Man saves by obeying His Father’s wishes and commands.
Did the Lord at 12 need to be in the Temple? Yes.
Did He need to learn anything at the hands, the “wisdom” and knowledge of the “doctors” (the Scribes and Old Testament exegetes)? No—not according to His Divine Nature, and no not even according to His Human Nature for He knew His Work and Person from the beginning. He was there for His Mother, His step-father and for His New Testament “12”—you the Christ’s true Israel. The young Christ “increasing in wisdom and stature” had nothing to do with the Jewish experts catechizing Him but with His every step obeying His Father, His earthly family, and His will to do “His Father’s business.” The only “favour with God and man” is for the God/Man to be the Savior, the Suffering Servant, the Lamb of God slain for the sins of the world—YOU! God’s “favour” is His Grace and Mercy poured out for you—on Calvary and in the Holy Chalice of His Blood given “for you.”
The 12 year old God was not lost. Jesus is never lost and never needs to be “found.” No one discovers the Christ but rather He comes to His own. His own will be in His Temple. Not the Temple in Jerusalem but the tent, the structure, of His Word and most mysteriously in the Temple of His Body—His Body the Church for that is where His Body and Blood—the New Testament—is given for His New Testament family.
His Father’s business is Mercy and Peace. His Father’s Business is His business for He and the Father are one. The business of Jesus is to be at the place of sacrifice, not in Jerusalem the city of David, Solomon and Nehemiah, but in the Jerusalem outside the walls of sins and unbelief—on the lonely hillock of Golgotha giving His Body and shedding His Blood for your forgiveness and restoration. “There” 2,000 years ago, and “Here” this very day.
Ponder these things in your heart, and receive absolution, strength, and joy in your ears and mouths. No more sorrowing, only Jesus and salvation.
In The Name of The Father and of + The Son and of The Holy Ghost