And Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah. Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Scholars agree Jesus was around 12 years old when he went to the temple and instructed the Pharisees. He was growing up. Growing up takes some time, from childhood, to adolescence, and then, hopefully, to adulthood. I believe this process is the same in our spiritual lives. But in this information-on-demand age we live in, we want it now—right now.
I was a Baltimore Catechism child and a rebellious adolescent. I could make it on my own— I had all the answers. God like any good parent was patient with me. God was ever present—even if I did not want to recognize or acknowledge him. When we were blessed with children, I was better able to understand that “give the kid some time” or “unconditional parental” kind of love that the Lord has for us all.
God is not in a hurry. He is patient. God is always willing to meet us right where we are in our spiritual journey…as a child, an adolescent, or an adult. I believe that all God ever wants from us is to continue to try and grow ….to try and grow closer to Him. At 64 , I am still trying to grow up…and to grow closer to Him.
—Bill Burke has been a member of the Midwest Jesuit advancement team for three years; he is currently on a leave of absence.
How do you, Lord, look at me?
What do you feel in your heart for me?
—John Eagan, S.J.