#JesusBeingJesus is the reflection for December 27, 2015. Lallapalooza, Jesus, and the Temple, they all have something to do with each other in the reflection on a kid left behind. Sometimes a reflection isn’t a call to action, it is a call to admiration. Listen here in this reflection: Download it into your phone. #MSAWordfortheDay #MySpiritualAdvisor #Sermon #Homily #Mary #BoyJesus #Widsom #LeftBehind #BoyWonder #ChildLeader #MSAWordfortheDay #MySpiritualAdvisor
For listener supported My Spiritual Advisor, this is Mark Kurowski with a reflection for Sunday, 12/27/2015 The 1st Sunday of Ordinary Time
Please pause this audio and read Luke 2:41-52.
Chicago has this music festival called “Lallapalooza.” Some years ago, one of my children went to “lalla,” as they call it. This three day event ends on a Sunday, usually. Well, it ended for everyone else, but us. At 1 a.m. on Monday, my child had not returned. We had not heard anything from the child. The text messages were not responded to. The phone messages were not being answered.
Being that this child was under 21 and still living in my home, I decided that I should go into Chicago and look for him myself. It seems a crazy thing to do, but I was determined as a parent who had lost their child for three days. So, I put in the address of the hotel that my nephew had booked and went. I prayed the entire way there that the child would be protected.
I got to the corner where Michigan Ave. and Wacker Drive meet at the river in Chicago. It is amazing how light the traffic is in Chicago at 1 am on a Monday. The map app in my phone said to take a right. At that moment, a still small voice within me said, “Turn left.” So, I turned left to the protestations of the map app, which kept saying, ‘make a u turn.’
With a picture of my child in my hand, I saw a police car shepherding Lalla patrons who were going to their hotels. I drove by the police car and parked in front. When I got out of the car, I went to the policeman and that is when I heard, “Dad!” I had parked the car in front of a doorway of a skyscraper in Chicago. In that doorway was my child, with two other people. I looked at that child and said, “Get in the car. We have been worried sick about you.”
As I read this story of Jesus going up to Jerusalem at the age of his BarMitzvah for the Passover, I can resonate with Mary when she finds that the child had been missing for three days. As I drove off the Skyway into Chicago, there were all kinds of places I could think of that my child could be. None of them were in a church. Mary and Joseph, let me tell you, finding your kid in the Church talking theology with the masters is not such a bad place to find him!
Tony Kornheiser, the famous television and radio journalist, and columnist for the Washington Post, used to make a point about all the bad boy reports from the world of sports. He said, “If you took out the names of the places from the newspaper reports they were and put in the word ‘library’ and the story didn’t make sense, then the athlete should not have been there.” So, he would read a report on the air, “Joe Athlete was arrested last night at 3:00 am at the library for an altercation.” Nope, he shouldn’t have been there.
This passage today is about who Jesus is. You can tell a lot about who a person is by what they do and where they go. If someone is hanging out in Chicago at 1 am after a rock concert, there is not much good going on there. If someone is arrested at a club with people with whom he or she was engaged in an assault, there is not much good going on there. When you find your kid at the foot of the theological and religious masters who were amazed at your child in the Temple of the Lord, what bad is going on there?
The acceptance of a mission, a way of life, a path that has been laid out before us is what is going on here. Mary and Joseph have been visited by angels, Shepherds, the prophet Simeon, the prophetess Anna, their cousin, and way before he was 12 by three kings from afar with some pretty amazing gifts. The words from the angels laid out his life, what he would do and what he would say. The family and community of faith confirmed what was spoken to this mother and father. The kings were icing on the cake. This child was meant for greatness.
Here, now, at the age of his BarMitvah, the acceptance of the mantle of manhood, a young Jesus willingly accepts the role and business of his Father in heaven. What is the response of the parents? It is amazement that what they had been told is actually coming true.
What we see here is that when God makes promises, they come true and we can trust them. When Israel was promised a Messiah, God came through. When Mary and Joseph were promised that their child would be the Messiah, God came through. A young man, Jesus, spreading his wings, basically teaching in the Temple, captivates a community of faith and its elders for three days. Jesus in the temple as a young man, scaring his parents to death with his spreading of his wings, shows that God chose correctly. He chose a family that would foster faith, give support, and care for his Son.
There is fulfillment of prophecy in this passage. There is the joy of a community in this passage. There is a young man stepping up and a community allowing him to step up to do the work of God. There is a family whose faith laid the foundation and gave protection to a child of faith who is now a man of faith. There is a glimpse of the precociousness of our Savior. There is a glimpse of the way in which God is predictably wild.
The boy is in the Temple. He is quoting and discussing Scripture. He is embracing a larger mission than selfies, snapchat, video games, facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Vimeo, Reddit, Twitter, or any other self indulgent social media outlet. He is a young man discussing the mysteries of the universe. Oh, that we would all have sons who would take out the garbage without a fuss, let alone disappear for three days to discuss the ways of the Lord!
To the young man who was indignant that his earthly parents had not connected the dots of who he is, have patience. We parents sometimes fail to see the potential become reality before our very eyes. Though we may not see clearly, we would drive all the streets of Chicago all night long or scour the path back to the Temple in Jerusalem to find our children because we love them.
If we were to use this story as a teaching tool for the Church, maybe we should look to our young people before they reach the age of cynicism and have them read Scripture. Maybe we should look to our children before they are getting hardened by bad television, Netflix, and viral videos. Maybe we could confirm them earlier, enlist them to be active sooner, and listen to their wisdom and purity of faith rather than, “letting them know how life really is.”
I told you that this passage tells us who Jesus is. He is the Son who is a good son. He is Wisdom who is giving wisdom. He is Life living a youthful life. He is Hope showing his parents the future. He is Jesus being Jesus. Sometimes it is enough to just enjoy seeing him as he is. Amen.
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