Just a few days ago, at the nighttime Christmas masses, both our readings from Isaiah and Luke declare a savior will be born for all. The angel proclaims “good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.” Today, we hear Simeon confirm the angel’s proclamation in his own assertion that this little boy, from a poor family in the middle of nowhere, born in a stable to an unwed mother, and first welcomed into the world by dirty shepherds, is “a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory for your people Israel.”
They return home to Nazareth. What might Jesus have learned as he grew in wisdom? We know very little of his childhood, but perhaps we can turn to the second reading to imagine what Jesus could have learned. Perhaps becoming wise meant Jesus became a person of heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. This is the Jesus we see across Luke’s Gospel: one who sees the poor, the marginalized, women, the excluded. In a word, the angel and Simeon were right: he brings his light and glory to all he encounters. He sees everyone, especially those his society tends to forget to see, and proclaims it is with them that we find the Kingdom of God.
Like Jesus, we are continually invited to ask him who we ought to become. For example, how are we, this Christmas season, invited to take on the wisdom of Jesus, to become more grateful, more loving, and compassionate? Who do we fail to see in our lives out of our comfort, hurriedness, or our indifference? How can we become more like Christ, who sees those we may not, so that we can build the inclusive Kingdom of God that Jesus longs for us all to have?
Lucas Sharma, S.J., is a Jesuit-in-formation of the Jesuits West Province and a student at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University. Previously, he taught sociology at Seattle University. He is especially interested in the intersection between diversity, equity, inclusion, and Jesuit Catholic identity and mission. When not studying, Lucas loves to cook and watch the soap opera General Hospital.