Every year the parents of Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover, as was customary. And when Jesus was twelve years old, he went up with them according to the custom for this feast. After the festival was over, they returned, but the boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem and his parents did not know it.
They assumed that he was in their group of travelers and after walking the whole day they looked for him among their relatives and friends. As they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem searching for him, and on the third day they found him in the Temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions. And all the people were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
His parents were very surprised when they saw him and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I were very worried while searching for you.” Then he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand this answer.
Jesus went down with them, returning to Nazareth, and he continued to be obedient to them. As for his mother, she kept all these things in her heart.
And Jesus increased in wisdom and age, and in divine and human favor.
READ: Jesus was brought by His parents to Jerusalem during the Feast of the Passover when He was twelve. In going back He stayed behind without informing His parents. Joseph and Mary after inquiry among their relatives and friends went back to Jerusalem to look for Him. They found Him listening to and questioning the teachers in the Temple precinct with the latter amazed at His understanding and answer. Mary meanwhile kept all these things in her heart.
REFLECT: Family life can be a daunting task. Even a family such as that of Jesus, Mary and Joseph had some uncomfortable moments sometimes. But these kinks rather than subtracting the beauty of the family added luster and life to it. Mary and Joseph now will have a context to understand the behavior of their son who chose to stay behind in the big city rather than go back to Nazareth with them. It was not because they were less in His estimation but because He felt safe in the house of His Father. So every time Jesus tarried for a long time in any temple dedicated to His Father, Mary and Joseph would understand. Thus we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family, and of any family for that matter by reading something that hints of domestic disturbance within the family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. This is probably to remind us that family is family even if things don’t go smoothly sometimes.
RESPOND: What have I done for my family lately? Today honors the families of the world. Perhaps I will plan something that will make the days of my family members magical.
PRAY: Lord, help me be a better member of my family. May I bring blessings and problems in unequal measure with blessings as the clear winner. And grant that whatever problem I may cause may lead to a better family life, that it is just a blessing disguising itself as a test. May all end well in my family. Amen.
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