I've been thinking a lot about the gospel reading we read just after Christmas - Luke 2:41-52, where we learn about the Finding in the Temple.
You know I enjoy Luke's gospel, but I'm also someone who wishes he had every detail about Christ's life. And the fact that Luke's gospel skips from an 8-day-old Jesus to a 12-year-old Jesus leaves me wondering what happened in between?
What was Jesus like as a little boy? Did He run around outside with the other children? Was He always advanced compared to them? Did He ever get in trouble? Did He cry a lot?
And most importantly ... at what point did he go from speechless baby to a boy who could carry on conversations with temple teachers?
We may never know until we hopefully meet Him in Paradise, but I'm guessing that Jesus spent those years growing and learning .... setting the foundation to what would become a Blessed Life. (Make that the most Blessed Life.)
The more I meditated on this, the more it inspired me.
You see, this time of year is always a struggle for me. Religiously, it sometimes feels "just ordinary" because it falls between Christmas and Lent. Emotionally, it is a letdown after the Christmas/New Year's celebrations. And weather-wise, it is cold and dark here in the Northeast. (No wisecracks from my friends in Texas please.)
Which makes it easy to feel like these days are detours in the road until Ash Wednesday. Or Spring. Or a day where 30 degrees isn't considered a heat wave.
But this year, St. Luke has provided me with some motivation. He skips over those 11+ years in our Savior's life, but that certainly doesn't mean they were insignificant.
And neither are these days in January.
Like I imagine Jesus did, I will use them to continue building my foundation and grow closer to Our Father.
A Happy New Year to all of you, and prayers that it will be your most Blessed one yet.