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 of 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.
Jesus got “lost” so that his parents could find him. It is one of the ironies of the ministry that the very man who works in God’s name is often hardest put to find time for God. “The parents of Jesus lost Him at church, and they were not the last ones to lose Him there.” (Vance Havner) Finding our lost selves in God will help us clearly see our mission in life. This is what the Blessed Virgin did; after finding her “lost” Son, she pondered all things in her heart.
Losing is part of life. We have lost things and people in life. We leave them in oblivion, especially those that have hurt us traumatically, such as loss of a marriage in divorce, loss of old friends and home. We have to resurrect those pains to reconcile ourselves with those losses. There are many emotions in finding those losses again. Regrets would not bring them back. Yet, we find better ways in coping with trials, if we face with resignation our loss. Indeed, losing and finding are not so bad after all. “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand (find) ourselves.” (Henry Thoreau)
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