Sunday, December 27, 2015

Reflection: Luke 2:41-52

Feast of The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph:  Luke 2:41-52

In today’s Gospel, Mary and Joseph were taking Jesus to Jerusalem for the celebration of Passover, as was their custom.  Jesus was twelve years old.  When the celebration was over, Mary and Joseph began their journey home.  After they had traveled several days, they realized they had not seen Jesus since they left Jerusalem.  However, this was not unusual.  They were traveling with a caravan and they assumed that Jesus was with their relatives.  They did not suspect that Jesus had remained in Jerusalem.

They spent the day canvassing the caravan looking for their son.  No one had seen Jesus since they left Jerusalem.   They finally determined that Jesus was still in Jerusalem, so they began the journey back to the city.  Mary and Joseph looked for Jesus for three days and they could not find them.  They talked with their friends and relatives but none of them had seen Jesus.  

They continued their search for Jesus.  Imagine the fear and panic they must have felt!  Where was their son?  Was he safe?  Who was he with?  This type of situation truly is a parent’s “worst nightmare.” After searching for three days, they still had not found Jesus.  They did not know what else they could do.  

Finally they went to the temple and found Jesus was seated in the midst of the teachers, listening to them but also asking the teachers questions.  When finally caught sight of Jesus, they must have experienced a number of emotions: great relief, deep joy, and most likely some anger at what Jesus had done.  How could he have done this to them?  Didn’t he realize how worried they would be?  And yet Luke writes: “They were astonished."

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