December 27, 2015: The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.
After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers.
When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”
And 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 what he said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man. (Luke 2:41-52)
I can relate to Jesus in this story. I smile every time I read it because it lets me see a teenage Jesus doing his own thing and frustrating his parents. He seems willful and independent. Those are human experiences that I understand! But Jesus isn’t only a young teen in this story – we know from the written words that “all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers.” When I read more into the story, I also see myself in Mary and Joseph and how they react. They were worried about Jesus. They wanted to know where he was. They felt it was their job to protect him. Just like me, they do not yet completely understand who Jesus is and what He must do. Their son came to save all of us by the way he lived his life and died. That is a lot to understand! Our faith helps us with that understanding.
We call ourselves Christians. Sometimes it is easy to do that. Sometimes it is just easier to not mention it and not think about it and do what we want to do. Let’s try to do something a little more difficult than usual this week – maybe go out of our way to be nice to someone we do not like or share something we have with someone with less.