Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Hidden Life and the Public Life

A Mom's Look at the Liturgical Year

So, last week we had the luxury of spending a whole week thinking about Jesus' Hidden Life. On the feast of the Holy Family last Sunday, we caught a glimpse of Christ as a twelve-year-old teaching in the temple, and then we caught up with Him in today's Gospel at the wedding at Cana. That's a long time to lose sight of Our Lord! Eighteen years (in one week)! Besides the incident where Jesus is found by his holy parents in the temple, we're told almost nothing about His childhood or early manhood. But, in the perfection of God's planning, we're told exactly what we need to know. Jesus "went down with (His Parents) and coming to Nazareth, He was subject to them.... And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and grace with God and men."

In a very few words we're told a universe of details. There really is a lot to think about there, a lot to try to imagine.
And, for us, the timing of the contemplation of these things was divine intervention. We are so ready for attitude adjustments around our house right now. We're just getting back into the routine of school again after the fun and "spoiling" of our Christmas vacation. The long, dreary days of winter ("Always winter and never Christmas" now, I'm afraid) are stretching out ahead of us, with Spring and Easter a tiny (bright pink) speck in the distance. Without the sparkle of tinsel to brighten things up any more, our eyes are dull and our feet are dragging. Oh, the drudgery of it all...

But there was hope in the talking points the Church gave us to work with in last week's Gospel. The theme of the week was a wonderful, God-given opportunity to have long talks about how Jesus' childhood is meant to be the model for the children, just as Mary and Joseph are the models for me and Dan. We got to take some time last week working out the real meaning of the charm bracelets hanging at the Hobby Lobby registers. You know the ones, don't you? They're decorated with four letters: WWJD. What Would Jesus Do?
A good question, and not only for the children. What would Jesus do? What does He want us to do?

But, no worries, the Church goes on throughout the rest of the Liturgical Year to answer this question. You can see it as we move forward this Second Week After the Epiphany, into Jesus' Public Life. He taught us what to do, not just by His words, but in every example of His life.
As we read in the Gospel today, He taught us about love, respect, and humility when He obeyed His holy Mother at the Wedding at Cana and changed water into wine. He showed us that we can always trust His Mother's judgment and have faith in her intercession with Him. And, by the mere fact of His presence at this joyous occasion with all of His disciples, He blessed the sacrament of Matrimony with His shining stamp of approval.
There are no accidents in the universe, and it was no accident that Christ's first public miracle occurred at a wedding. And it's no accident that the Church brings this to our minds at this time in the year. This is a good week, isn't it, to renew all our best resolutions concerning our married life? And there is noone more understanding or more influential into whose hands we can place our worries and petitions about our station in life than Our Blessed Mother.
Along with our particular petitions, it might also be good to remember to pray for the institution of Matrimony in the modern world! And I'll be praying this week for someone dear to us who is soon to be engaged, as well. (Hmmmm.... Can you guess who?)
There's a lot to think about this week. But, if, looking ahead, the upcoming week appears to hold little time for contemplation, the Church has given us St. Paul in today's Epistle. St. Paul, a man with a plan. If you're like me, you feel a certain empowerment in having a no-nonsense list to work off of.
So, here it is for us; Let's see how much we can check off St. Paul's list (See below).
Also, here are some fun things we found for our little students to do this week:
* An easy Wedding at Cana Word Search and here's a harder one (our girls LOVE word searches)
* A crossword puzzle about the Wedding at Cana
* And here is a picture to color

1 comment:

GrandmaK said...

Perhaps the gap in the Life of Christ can be compared to those "gaps" we experience in our lives, when we are either not aware of his presence or choose not to be aware. Then when we arrive and are again in his presence we ask, "What have you been doing?" Of course, he could ask us, "What were you thinking?" Thank you! This was great post! Cathy