Tuesday morning I read a wonderful reflection in Sermons From The Latins.  The opening paragraphs on Christian Education took me by surprise…

Our homilist began expounding upon the beauty of childhood, and most particularly, the beauty of our dear Savior’s earliest years…

It’s astounding how very little we know about the life of our Lord during his childhood.   What little has been revealed was most likely told by His own dear Mother.  The Blessed Virgin Mary was a first-hand witness, a faithful observer and intimately shared in the daily life of Jesus.

We know by scriptural accounts that Joseph was guardian-protector of the Holy Family.  Quick to heed Heaven’s instruction, he kept the infant Jesus and His Holy Mother safe from the clutches of Herod.

We know that Mary “kept all these things in her heart” during the years Jesus remained hidden in the silence of an ordinary life and that she “pondered them” as her Son “increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man.”

But what of our Lord, his Holy Childhood?  It has remained a jealously guarded treasure, preserved as a sacred mystery, a source of delightful contemplation throughout the ages, giving inspiration to poet and artist…

Only those closest to the Holy Family would have been privileged to share in the intimacy of their daily life. So effectively did they guard and protect the Son of God, that only one incident of his childhood is revealed, and that only to pre-figure the sorrow of Mary…

Childhood.

It is so precious, such a brief space of time occupied by innocence and wonder.  Should we not do all within our power to preserve it?  Should we not fight against “the wickedness and snares of the devil” which would rob us of this great treasure?

It passes so swiftly.  Our little ones come to us, eyes wide with astonishment at the beauty of the world, faltering steps, scraped knees and lost teeth.   We bask in the transcendent beauty of their youth and innocence, goodness and purity.  Bit by bit the tiny bud unfolds to full-blown rose.  They grow up, and God willing, eventually “increase in wisdom and in stature, with God and with man.”

May God grant me the grace to hold them close, guarding them with the same diligence that kept our Lord and Savior’s childhood hidden…wonderfully, blessedly and perfectly hidden…

Until the proper hour…

Blessings,