The Nave Windows

Jesus in the Temple


Photography by Bill Blanchard


The second window depicts the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52). When, according to custom, the Infant Jesus was presented in the Temple on the fortieth day after his birth (Luke 2:22-40), pious people were awaiting his coming. Now on the threshold of adulthood and its responsibility to keep the commandments of the Torah (Law) of Moses, Jesus comes on pilgrimage with his parents. He is drawn to the Temple, his Father's House, the place of divine revelation to Israel, and of sacrificial offerings for the forgiveness of sin and for peace. The absence of Jesus for three days at this time of Passover makes the faithful think ahead to the Last Supper and the Paschal Mystery. Jesus is depicted in a white robe, decorated with golden crosses. He is discussing the Torah with the learned teachers who, like Simeon and Anna at the Presentation, are reflecting on the will of God and praying for the strength to fulfill it.


In the cinquefoil above the lancets, the Holy Spirit is represented by a dove, the only bird that may be offered in sacrifice (Leviticus 12:8). Probably the role of the Holy Spirit here is to guide the teachers into an ever-deeper appreciation of the Torah, to which Jesus is obedient in the most perfect way (Psalm 40:6-8 in Hebrews 10:5-10).


The scroll at the base indicates that the window was "Donated by the Alumni."