Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it.Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him.
After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
My sister once told me of the time my nephew got lost at a crowded beach. When Toni and my brother-in-law realized that Paul was missing, they were frantic. Toni stayed at their towels while Tom and some lifeguards went in search of Paul. About twenty minutes later Paul raced past my sister, so distraught he didn’t even see her. She had to run to catch up to him.
I realize Jesus was older than five-year-old Paul, but I’m nevertheless amazed at how composed he was, given this separation from Mary and Joseph. The difference between the two is obvious: My nephew became distraught when he realized he wasn’t where he belonged; Jesus, on the other hand, is serene because he realizes that he is exactly where he belongs.
“Where is Jesus?” they asked. Right where the Father wants him to be. Am I right where God wants me to be?
—Fr. Martin Connell, S.J. is Professor of Education at John Carroll University, University Heights, OH, and Rector of the John Carroll University Jesuit community.
JESUS, Son of God and Son of Mary, bless our family. Graciously inspire in us the unity, peace, and mutual love that you found in your own family in the little town of Nazareth.
MARY, Mother of Jesus and Our Mother, nourish our family with your faith and your love. Keep us close to your Son, Jesus, in all our sorrows and joys.
JOSEPH, Foster-father to Jesus, guardian and spouse of Mary, keep our family safe from harm. Help us in all times of discouragement or anxiety.
HOLY FAMILY OF NAZARETH, make our family one with you. Help us to be instruments of peace. Grant that love, strengthened by grace, may prove mightier than all the weaknesses and trials through which our families sometimes pass. May we always have God at the center of our hearts and homes until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with you. Amen.
—Missionaries of the Holy FamilyPlease share the Good Word with your friends!