Lk 2:41-52

Hanging out at the Temple
I can hear my dad say to one of my endless questions that began with “why…?” “Because I said so” I never found this a satisfying answer. I really had no control over the adult world. This was just one more example.

In the gospel reading on December 31st, where we celebrate the Holy Family, Jesus absents himself from the trip home with parents and stays in Jerusalem at the temple. Here he astounds the temple teachers with not only his questions, but also his answers to their questions.

Can you imagine this, adults allowing themselves to both be surprised and awed by the questions and thoughts of a twelve year old! Can you imagine a twelve year old hanging back at church to ask questions with spiritual and theological content?

There are many lessons often drawn from this gospel reading. One focuses on the unity of the Holy Family and how they deal with conflict of a son that just disappears. Another faces the question of “who is this boy child Jesus?” I have decided to think about a whole other invitation from this story. I wonder what are the questions percolating within me seeking answers that can only be found by leaving the familiar and looking in the temple.

Dare I, dare we step out of the every day patterns that have defined our view of the world to a new view that brings God into our lives in new ways? Perhaps now is the time to be open to questions that seek an answer bigger than, “because I told you so!”