It has been 40 days since Christmas.
It has been 40 days since the birth of Jesus the Christ.
It has been 40 days since the light of hope, peace, joy, and love bursted into our existence in the darkness of hopelessness, conflict, despair and anguish, and hatred and fear.
And yet, our ordinary daily routines have resumed.
The Advent preparations of our hearts and lives are a distant memory.
Those 12 days of Christmas have been celebrated and packed away.
This Time after the Epiphany, its lightbulb moments are dimming while flickering but once a week.
I imagine that it was similar for the newly formed Holy Family:
Joseph, Mary, and of course the infant Jesus.
According to the Catholic tradition, Joseph was a widower with children born of his previous union.
But as we know, Mary was a first-time parent. Perhaps within these 40 days, Mary was miraculously able to establish a routine and is a natural at the ‘parenting’ thing but I am confident that she is mentally, emotionally, and physically drained beyond exhaustion.
Yet, Jesus was circumcised and named on the 8th day after his birth, per Jewish custom.
And now, Jesus is presented in the temple on the 40th day after his birth, per Jewish custom. The presentation was essentially a return of the first-born son to God, who had claimed the first-born sons of Israel (current and future) during the original Passover in Egypt. The parents offered to God a prescribed sacrifice, due to the limited resources of the Holy Family their sacrifice was two turtle-doves or young pigeons.
The mysterious and awe-inspiring divine experience of Advent and Christmas are a memory. Our ordinary routines have resumed. Yes, even for the Holy Family.
But, within their Jewish custom, divine revelation would once again amaze Joseph and Mary. Read the rest of this entry »