Apart from the stories about Simeon and Anna and their impact on Mary and Joseph, today’s gospel focusses attention on the growth of the Christ-child to maturity and wisdom at the heart of his family. As a fully human child Jesus, like all of us, had to grow physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. He also grew in wisdom (the Greek word used by Luke includes insight, skill and intelligence). That is how he was able to bring benefit to others and glory to God. And the best way to grow like that is as a cherished person in a loving family given every opportunity to grow and develop. That is how we understand the achievement of Jesus who reveals the wholeness proper to each stage of human development. Look at your family with appreciation today and pray for all children to be nurtured and cherished, surrounded by peace, love, tenderness and care. Then pray blessings on your own children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and all the other members of your own family and those of your neighbours and friends.