Saturday, June 4, 2016

Reflection: Luke 2:41-51

Saturday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time – Luke 2:41-51

The Gospel for this memorial of The Immaculate Heart of Mary is the account of Mary and Joseph taking their twelve-year-old son, Jesus, up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Passover.  When the celebration of Passover ended, Joseph and Mary packed up and began to travel back home.  They assumed that Jesus was traveling back with his friends and their parents as was his custom.  They did not realize that Jesus had remained in Jerusalem.

After a time, Mary and Joseph began to look for Jesus among their relatives and friends.  They asked everyone they met if they had seen Jesus.  However, no one had seen Jesus since they had left Jerusalem.  This was highly unusual behavior for Jesus.  He typically was very responsible.  Imagine the fear Mary and Joseph experienced when they realized that Jesus must still be in Jerusalem.  I suspect that there is nothing worse for parents, than not to know where their child is and wondering if their child is safe.  Immediately, Joseph and Mary traveled back to Jerusalem.  

Mary and Joseph looked for Jesus for three full days!  What a nightmare those days must have been for them!  On the third day, Mary and Joseph finally found Jesus in the Temple.  He was sitting in the temple with the teachers and Jesus was questioning them.  Imagine finding one of your children in a temple or church, questioning the priest, rabbi, or minister. How would you react when you found your child?  First of all, I suspect you would feel relieved to know that your child was safe.  However, later on you likely would be extremely angry that your child had the nerve to stay behind without saying a word to you.  Didn’t your child realize how worried you would be?  

Apparently, Jesus was not flustered by his parents’ reaction.  Rather, He calmly said to Mary and Joseph: “Did you not know that I would be in my Father’s house?”  Then Jesus stood up and returned home with Mary and Joseph.   

When they returned to Nazareth, life returned to normal; Jesus was obedient to his parents.  However, I suspect that Mary and Joseph often talked about Jesus and the experience they had in Jerusalem.  They were amazed that Jesus had been listening and interacting with the teachers in the Temple.  And they wondered who and what he would be as an adult.  Then Luke writes: “His mother treasured all these things in her heart.”

What memories do you hold in your heart today?  As you look back over your life, in what ways do you sense God’s presence?

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