Today’s familiar story of Jesus in the temple is a transition between Luke’s infancy stories and the rest of his Gospel.
The temple itself is a favorite setting for Luke. He’s already situated Zechariah (1:8), and Mary and Joseph there (2:22), and now he brings Jesus to the temple. Luke’s Gospel will conclude with the disciples of Jesus in the temple, praising God (24:53).
Mary and Joseph are on a journey to Jerusalem—foreshadowing a similar journey Jesus and his disciples will make. And perhaps most importantly, Jesus’ first words describe the urgency he has to be “in my Father’s house.” The business of the Kingdom has begun, and Jesus must be about it.
In the midst of our Christmas celebrations, we’re reminded that there is “the rest of the story,” which will culminate in the death and resurrection of Jesus, and the birth of the Church. Along with Mary and Joseph and all who follow him, we have begun the journey.
Let the Word be your guide!