Locust Street Letters
By Frank Lawrence Vernon
Philadelphia: St. Mark's Church, Locust Street.
ST. MARK'S, PHILADELPHIA.
THE SECOND SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY, 1943.
MY DEAR PEOPLE:
The finding of the Holy Child in the Temple after the three days in which the Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph had sought Him sorrowing, is one of the joyful mysteries of Our Lord's Sacred Childhood.
We have the record of this event in the Gospel for last Sunday. It is the last glimpse of the Childhood. After this, "He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them; but His Mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man."
In the hidden life of the Holy Family in Nazareth Our Lord sanctified family life for all time. In the daily round of homely duties He prepared Himself for the mighty works of His public ministry. He lived thirty-three years on earth. For thirty years He lived withdrawn from the world. For three years He labored and accomplished the work which He came into the world to do. That work was to redeem the world, to be the propitiation for the sins of the world, and to be the Advocate of all the sinners of the world who in true penitence call upon Him.
It was for this that He came into the world. When the Blessed Mother found Him in the Temple She said unto Him, "Son, why hast Thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing. And He said unto them, How is it that ye sought Me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?"
When He prayed to His Father He said, "I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gayest Me to do." When He looked down from His Cross upon the world He cried, "It is finished." The Child in the Manger, the Boy in the Temple, the youth in the village, the man on the Cross, the Saviour of the world, ever about His Father's business, finished it and presented a perfect work.
As the Church commemorates the mysteries of redemption, the faithful assist in the offering of their sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. The commemorations are witnesses to the victorious Saviour Who, by His Cross and Passion, has re deemed the world, and by His merits and mediation has given us access to the Father.'
There can be no bounds to the happy confidence of the believing Christian. If sometimes he may be afraid, nevertheless he puts his whole trust in the words of the Boy in the Temple, "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" "The anxiety which troubles you. That is my Father's business and mine—not yours. Remember I am with you always. Always I must be about My Father's business. Trust yourself to Me."
If your life seems to you to deprive you of much that you are capable of using profitably, remember the words of the Holy Child, "I must be about My Father's business." "So must you. The irksome duties laid upon you are all a part of your Father's business for you. You must be about them. Do not forget that when you want Me you will always find Me about my Father's business and yours."
If discouragement attacks you, remember that you do not need to go far nor to wait long to find Him. In the midst of your ordinary affairs you will find Him about His Father's business.
If spiritual difficulties afflict you, waste no time in faithless fears. You will find Him in His Temple. There you will see Him about His Father's business, giving medicine to heal our sickness, food for our nourishment, absolution for our sins, blessing and peace. At times all this will seem to be too good to be true. But it is all true because it is good. There is nothing surprising about it, "Wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business?"
Affectionately in Our Lord,