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.
In the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius invites us to use our imagination to experience a Gospel passage. Christmas is great for this! Pregnant Mary and Joseph rejected at the inn, a scene that has become ‘Posadas’ in Hispanic Catholic culture. Imagine the flight into Egypt of the Holy Family, a paradigm for violence-fleeing families today. How was Jesus’s family life? The Spirit will move our hearts in our sincere prayer.
Jesus increased in wisdom and in years with the love of Joseph and Mary. Many suffer from an absent father. Quality family time and presence is so crucial!
We must also care for each other since, as John reminds us, we are all God’s children – brothers and sisters in Christ. Many suffer today from the absence of the Kingdom family, due to individualism and one’s own created busyness. Do I responsibly care beyond my blood family? How? Am I seeing well?
—Fr. Rafael Garcia, SJ, is a member of the Jesuits Central and Southern Province. He serves as associate pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in El Paso, Texas, where he ministers to people who are migrants and refugees.
Loving God, thank you for bringing the Christ into the world in such a humble way: A family with much love but little material goods. Help me to see better and love my family, the Kingdom family, especially those rejected by society.
—Fr. Rafael Garcia, SJ
Please share the Good Word with your friends!