First Sunday After The Epiphany Which Is The Sunday Within The OCTAVES Thereof GOSPEL Luc.2.42 The Monday Meditation: A Plaine Path-Way To Heaven By Fr.Thomas Hill 1634

MASSYS, Cornelis 
Arrival of the Holy Family in Bethlehem 
1543
Luke 2. 42-52 GOSPEL 
When Jesus was twelve years old, they going up into Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast, and having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the Child Jesus remained in Jerusalem, and His parents knew it not. And thinking that He was in the company, they came a day’s journey, and sought Him among His kinsfolk and acquaintance. And not finding Him, they returned into Jerusalem, seeking Him. And it came to pass that after three days they found Him in the Temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them and asking them questions. And all that heard Him were astonished at His wisdom and His answers. And seeing Him they wondered. And His mother said to Him: Son, why hast Thou done so to us? Behold Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing. And He said to them: How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business? And they understood not the word that He spoke unto them. And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them. And His mother kept all these words in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and grace with God and men. 
Considerations for Monday.

They (that is to say the blessed Virgin Mary, Joseph, and Jesus) going up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the festival day.

The commandment to visit the Temple in Jerusalem at three festival days in the year, was only for men, not for women: yet our blessed lady out of her especial devotion used to go for our instruction. 

For as one that shooteth, in a lone-bow at a mark, knowing the mark to be farther, then he can shoot level either in regard of the length of the mark, or weakness of his bow, must overlay, and aim beyond the mark or else he will come short: So to make the law of God easy unto us we must not only accustom ourselves to put in practice what is commanded; but more then is commanded; and not only of our own voluntary devotion, which is common to all good, Christians; but those that are more fervent may blind themselves either by vow or other obligation, if their ghostly father or some other superior, judge it convent, and then the ordinary commandments of God will seem easy unto us when we urge ourselves unto extraordinary.

If you object to multiple commandments is to multiply sins if we break them: I answer, the end of the law (as Saint Paul affirmeth) is charity. The end why God layette commandments upon us is, not that we should sin the more; but that doing what he bindeth us unto he may bind himself tool us. and reward us the better for it.

And though we may take occasion to sin so much the more, if we will follow our corrupt nature, and inclination, and so the commandment may prove a detriment unto us: yet supposing the observance of the commandments of God to be in the power of our freewill, by the help of the grace of God (which is never wanting totem, that do their endeavors and that men indued which the light of natural reason, and following the same will make a benefit of a commandment, rather then a detriment, both being in their power: the multiplication of commandments is the multiplication of Gods benefits unto us, especially having such plentiful, and ample means of Sacrament, and other helps to raise us again, if we chance to sin, that where sin doth abode there grace (as St. Paul saith) may superabound.

Saint Augustine doth expostulate this matter with almighty God thus: Lord, if the forbidden fruit, that Adam, and Eve tasted with so great detriment to themselves, & posterity, was evil, why didst thou create it? if good, why didst thou forbid it: Lord, saith he again, thou didst well, and we, that think otherwise, are ignorant.

Thou didst provide food both for body, and soul; Thou didst permit them to eat of all the other trees, for the food of their bodies: Thou didst forbid them to eat of that one, for the food of their souls.

Obedience is the food of the soul. my food saith Christ, is to do the will of my father: and therefore the blessed Virgin Marie being most prudent, vowed Virginity, binding herself by a law of her own, who was not otherwise bound, that her obedience might better the food of her soul by a double merit, Virginity of it self being one merit, and the vowing of it another.


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