Grace: an intimate knowledge of our Lord, Who has become man for me, that I may love Him more and follow Him more closely.
Text for Prayer: Luke 2:51-52
Reflection: See the house in Nazareth where Jesus grew up. See the place where Mary and Joseph live, where they gather together and work.
Jesus Christ is the model for all of us. Everything about Him, everything He does is a lesson for us in how we may be complete as human beings and as subjects to the Divine King. Just as Mary kept Jesus’ words and deeds as material for a holy pondering in her heart, we too are to do the same. While we are often mesmerized by the greatest of His deeds recounted in the four Gospels, perhaps the most instructive for our everyday lives are those everyday deeds that Jesus took upon Himself as a model of perfect humanity. We must let this hidden life of our King impress upon our hearts deeply those lessons which we so often forget in the hustle and bustle of our lives. Too often we are centered on something other than living as a child of God.
Take in the atmosphere of such a peaceful and holy home. Imagine the tranquility and order of such a place during those hidden years of our Lord. Let your eyes become fixed on the young Jesus and let your companionship with Him grow. Let the ice that surrounds your heart melt away and let yourself become aware of God’s love for you in your humanity as you see Jesus in His humanity. Jesus has come to meet you with none of the grandeur and majesty to strike your unaccustomed eyes; all is immediate humanity on this day. The heart that beats within Jesus’ chest fits perfectly into your own. Allow the words of Saint Paul to apply to your own inner longings for closeness to Christ: “It is no longer I that live but Christ that lives in me.” (Gal 2:20)
Jesus is set on doing the will of His Father at all times through obedience to Joseph and Mary. This is the trajectory of His Divine Heart. Jesus’ nobility shines through in His being more than His doing now. Far from desiring something more regal, notice how Jesus delights in the simple accommodations offered Him during His hidden life. He takes delight in what has been designed by His Father in Heaven. Jesus is able to see and accept Mary and Joseph as instruments the Father’s divine will. See the promptness that the hidden King attends to their voices. See how lovingly He conforms to their will, “subject to them.” (Luke 2:51)
His hidden life is one of love for His earthly family, one of work, one of poverty, one of humble concealment, one of interior life. And see how every heartbeat of Our Lord is a prayer as His zeal for completing His mission, begun in meekness, burns within Him.
Questions: What are the three most important changes that I would have to make to more closely resemble the Hidden King in His humble early life? Are there things that get in the way of those changes? Should there be things in the way? How can I draw nearer to Jesus in His humility?
Pray: Oh Jesus my King, grant that I may look upon Your life and see the secret to living close to Your heart. Teach me perfect obedience to those that I owe it to. Teach me to imitate that inner prayer that You model for me as King and Lamb. Teach me to be an instrument of ministry as You came to minister rather than be ministered to. Teach me to accept my current situation according to the will of Our Father, and if it is to His greater Glory, let me follow You more closely in every way: in work, in poverty, in concealment, in humility and, most importantly, in love.