The Feast of the Holy Family

"...and his mother kept all these things in her heart.
And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man." (Luke 2:52)

Mary pondered all these things in her heart and Jesus grew in wisdom and stature.
Mary pondered. Jesus grew.

It seems to me that this is the whole of the Christian life and experience. We encounter Christ in some way, great or small. We reflect on this experience. And, Glory to God, He grows in our hearts, our awareness and our living.

What a joy it is to have the knowledge and favor of God grow in our lives through each encounter with Christ Jesus. There seem to be times, however, when the encounters are rare. What then should we do? We should follow the example of His holy Mother. Mary found the Child Jesus in the temple. We, likewise, must get to the "temple" to find Him in those desolate times when we feel lost or cannot feel His presence. Of course, I am referring specifically to the Church, and most specifically to the tabernacle! There we will find our Savior lovingly waiting for us. There He will listen to us as we pour out our hearts. There He will bless us as we bask in the light of His grace.

O, if we only would realize that He is there, really there in every Catholic Church in this most singular way. The same Christ who's birth we have just celebrated is there, childlike and innocent. The same Christ who wandered from His holy family to be in the temple with His Heavenly Father is there to amaze us with His questions and astound us with His answers. The same Christ who taught the disciples is there to instruct your heart in His ways. The same Christ who died on the Cross is there, laying down His life for your Salvation.

This is no mere symbol. This is not some form of religious rant. This is no mere doctrinal statement. This is Jesus. This is the Word Made Flesh.

Come, then, my brothers. Come, my sisters. Sit in His presence. Kneel in adoration. Lay your head against his beating Heart.

Ponder. Ponder and pray, and Jesus will grow in wisdom, and age and favor in your heart.