“The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.” (LK 2:40)
Christmas brought my boys tons of LEGO sets. They’ve had LEGO sets before but they were never quite ready for them. They would start making the creations and then give up because it was “too hard”. Then, they’d run to my husband or I and ask us to put them together. Eventually, the legos would just become confetti thrown about before disappearing all together. It made me very hesitant to try LEGO sets again.
But yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised. My oldest asked if he could open a LEGO set. We made him do it at the kitchen table and instructed that only one set could be opened at a time. Less than an hour later, he was showing off his finished product asking for another box. Soon, his brothers joined him. Every once in awhile, I would hear one say: “I can’t do this. It’s too hard.” But before I could even open my mouth to encourage them to continue, I’d hear “I got it! Nevermind!”
By the end of the day, seven new creations were sitting around our house done completely by five and seven year old hands.
Today, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family. I long sometimes for more from the Gospels about the childhood years of Jesus. Not so much to see how Jesus fared, but more about the specific things that Mary held in her heart. Like for instance – was she struck by the first time that Jesus built something out of wood in his dad’s shop? Something done with only his hands?
Sometimes it’s difficult to be left to fill in the blanks, but it’s also kind of wonderful to be able to add our own imagination and contemplation to the life of the Holy Family. We can take tidbits from the Gospel like today’s concluding line (“The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.”) and we can fill in the blanks based off our own experiences of what family is and how it operates through the toughest and most beautiful years.
This morning my prayer is that we can see glimpses of the Holy Family in our own families this holiday. May we know that each of us are children who are continuing to grow and become strong and filled with wisdom. Let us believe that, like the child Jesus, God is with us, and that Mary is treasuring all we do in her heart.