Today's story of Jesus in the Temple
uses a literary device common to Greek
It presents a story from the hero's youth
to show what
the hero will achieve as an adult.
Fr. Raymond Brown cites just a few of the
that show a clear pattern of boyhood stories
figures at about age 12:
the Buddha in India, Osiris in Egypt,
Great in Persia, Alexander the Great in Greece,
Augustus in Rome, and in
Eliezer ben Hyrcanus, Moses, and Samuel.
Fr. Brown says
that the underlying principle
is that the child must already have
what the man would become known to be,
that is, a child of God
speaking and acting with divine power.
The episode is, scholars tell
without foundation in historical memory.
As Marcus Borg would put
it's one of those stories that is true
but never actually
Still, it sets forth a series of insights about God and
as understood by the post-resurrection Christian
The message for us
today lies in those insights,
and it boils down to the truth
that we are
all children of God.
When we understand and act on that insight,
like Jesus, in wisdom and age and grace.
People see it in us
see how we love one another.
The first letter of John, written around the
as these infancy narratives were added to Luke's gospel,
clearly: we are all God’s own children!
We will grow to be like God,
remain in God, and God in us,
because we follow God's law:
that we love
I don't live in
a nuclear family—
my parents have passed,
my brothers married and moved
out of state.
As a result, people worry about me around the holidays.
have somewhere to go, they ask.
And I do.
I have wonderful cousins here in
who surround me with the love of their family circle.
more, I am surrounded
by countless brothers and sisters
who reveal Christ
On Christmas Eve morning
I breakfasted with many of them at Claver
a roomful of people who accept me as I am
and whose friendship I
After breakfast one of them invited me to his home,
where I met
and enjoyed the beautiful decorations
that he and his wife had put
for their 61st Christmas together.
And I was sent home with a bottle of
his favorite 40-proof eggnog.
Then there was the Vigil Mass with you, more
children of God,
celebrating the birthday of our brother Jesus
communion with one another.
And a supper gathering with family in town for
On Christmas Day I breakfasted at Claver again,
morning Mass with you,
and visits between NBA games in the
topping it off with supper with friends and neighbors.
has to be lonely being single!
I'm surrounded with a huge family
call friends and neighbors and cousins,
seed-swappers and chicken-keepers,
brothers and sisters in every nook and cranny of my life!
of them—each of you—is a gift from God,
all of us part of one family.
what a holy family we are!
I thank God for you!
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.
Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
West Central Avenue (Washington
Rev. Dr. Bev Bingle,
Mailing address: 3156 Doyle Street, Toledo, OH 43608-2006