A priest at my home parish recently told us in his homily that the only way one can know Jesus and understand His Words is if one knows and understands the 1st century Christians. To read Jesus’ Word through the eyes of those who lived when he walked the earth.
This was a profound statement for me. It opened my eyes and gave me an aha moment – essentially the God-inspired words in the Bible are God’s living Word that applies directly to us still today in this specific moment of time. However, we can only really understand God’s Word if we can understand what God’s Words meant to the people of his time on earth. To hear Jesus’ Words through the eyes, ears, and heart of the 1st century people.
I immediately thought of the Father’s Adolescent Series of books based on Jesus’ life as a boy found in the 13 verses of Luke’s Gospel. The author, Fr Lucio Boccacci, sheds light on what it was like to live in the time of Jesus by providing insights into the 1st century background of history, word meanings, traditions, and common sense ideas to think about and reflect on for deeper understanding. It really made a difference in my ability to know Jesus and appreciate the depth and richness of Jesus’ childhood.
You might ask why this is important. It is important to me because I want to deepen my friendship with Jesus. And when one wants to deepen a friendship, it is interesting and exciting to get to hear more about the person. To hear true stories about what the friend was like when he or she was growing up and what the world around the friend was like.
One of my fondest memories is about when the parents of a friend of mine came to visit my friend. We all went out for lunch and as parents do, I heard wonderful heartwarming stories about the younger days of my friend, including challenges and life lessons learned. That is what the Father’s Adolescent Series about Jesus’ childhood gives me. An opportunity to have a deeper insight and understanding of what Jesus experienced when he was growing up. I got to know Jesus and His life better.
Reading the Father’s Adolescent Series books will deepen your understanding and love for Jesus! You will never read these 13 verses of Luke’s Gospel the same again!