“Not as I want, but according to your will, O God, let it be done unto me.” My child, these words… can raise a soul to the summit of sanctity. In such a soul I delight.
Words of Jesus to Faustina recounted in her Diary, par. 1487
What did Jesus mean by saying, “I must be in my Father’s house?” These words may have sounded strange to Mary and Joseph just as they do to us. He was human, just like us, was he not? Did He not have a free will just like the rest of us? Yes! That is the beauty of his statement. Consider other times when Jesus used the phrase, “I must…”
I must proclaim the Good News… (Lk. 4:43)
Zacchaeus.. I must stay at your house. (Lk. 19:5)
There is a baptism with which I must be baptized (Lk. 12:50)
These (other sheep) I must lead… (Jn. 10:16)
I must continue on my way… (Lk. 13:33)
The Son of Man must suffer greatly… be rejected… be killed, and rise after three days. (Mk. 8:31)
It’s all about obedience. St. Paul tells us that Jesus was obedient even unto death, death on the cross (Phil. 2:8). Luke tells us that, after being found in the Temple, Jesus went down with them… to Nazareth, and was obedient to them.
The great mystery of Jesus Christ is his dual nature. He is both human and divine – inseparable in one person. First He declares His obedience to His heavenly Father. Next He shows us His obedience to His earthly parents. In our fallen human nature, we cannot seem to fully grasp the mystery of His dual nature or why He must obey both.
The birth of Jesus – the Incarnation – is all about God doing for us what we could not do for ourselves: make full atonement for our sins of separation and disobedience. What Adam and Eve initiated in the Garden of Eden could only be expiated by them or their descendants but how can humanity make amends to God who is beyond our understanding, beyond our vision, beyond our very nature? God knew the futility of our predicament and chose to help us by becoming one of us in the person of Jesus. As both human and divine he alone could repair the rift between us and Our Father.
His obedience, like His dual nature, was both human and divine.