Over the last few days the gospels for daily mass have been intriguing. Take a look at them: Matthew 4:12-17,23-25; Mark 6:34-44; Mark 6:45-52.
What do you notice?
Well, considering that over the last two weeks we have liturgically been introduced to the incarnation, God becoming man, Jesus as a child, the reading should be surprising. We have spent all of 12 days on Jesus as an infant.
We were invited to peer into Bethlehem and see his birth. We were invited to acknowledge the beauty of the Holy Family. We walked in the footsteps of the Magi as they followed the star to adoration and gifts of gold, Frankincense, Myrrh. We witness the slaughter of the Innocents, the presentation in the Temple, purification rite of Mary as well after childbirth.
Yet, just a 12 days have elapsed and Jesus is already all grown up. This is the surprise of the last few days gospel readings. We have already moved on. Jesus is already a grown man ready for ministry, ready for action.
It always amazes me how quickly we move from the infant narrative to the public ministry of Jesus the 30 plus year old.
The church reminds us that we aren't meant to stare at the manger forever. We are not meant to be lost in the swaddling clothes. Jesus was born for a reason. Jesus' life has direction, purpose, meaning.
So does ours. We are not meant to stay young and immature either. At some point we have to choose to grow up and become the men and women God created us, destined us to be.
Maybe this is why we move ahead so quickly from Bethlehem to the Jordan banks and Jesus beginning his ministry. He came that we might have life and we can only have that life when we choose to man up and let his show us the way.
So stop looking for your childhood and start being grown up for a change and get busy doing God business and let life flow abundantly.