Gospel Reading Sunday 1st January (Luke 2:20-21, 40-52)


During the period between Christmas and Theophany, many of the Gospel readings are focused on the life of the young Jesus. One reading during this period is Luke 2:40-52. In this passage we read that Jesus’ parents would go to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. When Jesus was twelve years of age, He went to Jerusalem with His parents, as was the usual custom. When the feast was over, the young Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem for three days. His parents initially assumed He was with them in the travelling company. However when they realized He was not there, they immediately returned to Jerusalem.

After three days of searching, they found the young Jesus in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening and asking questions. All who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and His answers: even from a young age He was full of wisdom! When His parents found Him they said, as any parent would: “Son, why have you done this to us? We have sought you anxiously” (v 48). Jesus replied: “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (v 49). Even from a young age, Jesus had complete love for His Heavenly Father!

Jesus then left with His parents, “and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart” (v 51). This verse reveals two key points. One is that Jesus was above all obedient to the will of His Father, and then was willingly subject to his earthly parents. Can we say that we are obedient to the will of God in our own life? And then, can we say that we give our parents the same respect that Jesus gave willingly to his earthly parents? The second point is the humility of Panagia, which enabled her continued spiritual growth. Why? Because initially she asked Jesus why He had caused such anxiety to His parents. But upon hearing the profound wisdom of His response, she said no more on this topic, but kept the words “in her heart”. In our spiritual life, the challenge is for us to mimic the humility of Panagia, continue to learn, and always keep the words of Jesus in our hearts.


Source: Lychnos December 2016 / January 2017