Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
FAMILY THAT HAS TO BE BUILT UPON CHRISTSt. Luke 2:41-52
In a monastery, a disciple asked his Guru, “Throughout your spiritual journey have you ever found God”? Then Guru said to his disciple, Yes, I have found God. Disciple wondered what the guru has said. Disciple eagerly asked guru, where did you find God? Then Guru replied to him silently, “You will find in yourself”. The part of this scripture also allows us to realize ourselves, change our attitude, and search for God. Here, when Jesus reached the age of twelve his pious parents took him to the Passover Feast in Jerusalem. It is his second visit to the temple and for the first time, he was presented in the temple as we can see in St. Luke: 2: 22-24. He felt drawn to God irresistibly, now that his earthly guardians had gone away. He stayed within around the temple, as to his real home. More than that, this family had a bond relationship with God and for that purpose, we read as ‘they were regular visitors to the temple’.
During the great pandemic times, we all were in our homes and all the churches were shut down. We have been enclosed within the four walls. But today we need to introspect whether Are we still enclosing our faith within the four walls and how can our families recover from such circumstances.
Based on today’s Gospel portion (St.Luke:2: 41-52), let me share some thoughts based on “Family that has to be built upon Christ”.
1. FAMILY: BE OBEDIENT AND DEDICATED TO GOD
God is the founder of the family. Therefore, God is given the main priority in the family. To be obedient and dedicated, it is necessary for the inner life experience and empowerment in our family. If there is God’s presence in our family, the power of the Holy Spirit will permeate our inner life and strengthens us. Family is not possible by one’s wealth, power, and ability alone. For that, mutual love is essential for proper family life. It is formed through individual and family prayer together. For that reason, Joseph and Mary’s family life is also obedient and dedicated to God. When Jesus recognizes his mother’s call and without murmuring, he goes away with them and is subject unto them. But this subjection and reverence did not hinder, but really helped, throughout his life. “He increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man.” And God’s favor will rest as well as man’s favor upon all who follow in the footsteps of his Divine Son in this beautiful subjection.
2. FAMILY: PASS DIVINE WISDOM FROM KNOWN TO THE
KNOWLEDGE OF THE UNKNOWN
Jesus had been growing for twelve years in strength and in spirit, and the Lord loved him. It was the one absorbing interest in the Divine outlook upon our race. Therefore, when he reached twelve, the little ones were deemed able to become “Children of the Law”. He believed he would get light about the will of the great Father who dwelt there, and who had given his people the Law. Although he must have seen through the shallowness of some of his teachers and had doubtless deeper insight than any, he was content to sit at their feet and get all the good from them he could. He would take wisdom as others have to get it, gradually, and pass from the known to the knowledge of the unknown. Therefore, the temple was regarded as the home of him who was a Father to all who trusted in him. And this general idea of fatherhood became specialized in his deep, reverential musings, and he could not but feel towards God as no Jew had ever felt before. As a faithful family, when we acquire the Divine wisdom and as we get all possible light from our Father, we need to pass from the known to the knowledge of the unknown.
3. FAMILY: REMEMBERING GOD’S CARE
As we read in Luke 2:42 it says, “And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival”. Here, the family remembered God’s care even before Jesus’ birth. They experience God’s unconditional love and care but they didn’t forget what God has done to them and followed the usual visits to Jerusalem. A marriage succeeds when God’s care is remembered. Men and women were born and brought up in different circumstances and lifestyles, but being as husband and wife God has a concern for them. When a couple sees their partner as God’s care, they can experience family life as God’s gift. God created males and females to understand and care for each other and to live together in a new order of life. Today we can see that many people who were closer to God before marriage and they forget God’s unconditional love and care after marriage. Do we remember what Jesus did for us on the cross? We need to be reminded of God’s unconditional care and to remind our younger generation too.
Dearly Beloved in Christ,
In our modern life scenario, threats to family life are emerging like never before. Man is narcissistic, prioritizing wealth over family and trying to kill his own brothers and sisters. I remember Geevarghese Mar Stephanos Episcopa tirumeni’s words which were said in the last Maramon Convention. Tirumeni said, “The modern man is the one who smiles at his brother, hugs him and takes the dagger he kept in his hand and plunges it deep into his brother’s body”. Let us all pray that the almighty will give grace to all our families to recognize the evils of today that destroy the family’s goals and move forward against them.
O Lord we pray for those families where peace and harmony do not prevail, who undergo various problems and are even on the verge of divorce. Manifest your divine love through our families. In Jesus' most precious name we pray. Amen
Rev. Asish Thomas
Sirsi Mission Karnataka