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Gospel reflection

December 30, 2018: Feast of Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Reading: Luke 2:41-52

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.


I have a hard time with this Gospel narrative! I am not a parent, but my heart sure goes out to Mary and Joseph. It seems that Jesus is almost “playing games with them.”And when they express the depths of their concern and anxiety, Jesus asks, “Why were you looking for me?” Dah! Why not! He’s only 12 years old! And how were they to connect the dots that would lead them to the temple to find him? For three days, they had frantically searched.


Spend some time today getting in touch with the feelings of parents who are searching for children who have run away or been abducted or who are separated by situations of war and violence.
Pray that they be strengthened and given courage.

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Sister Ann Casper

Sister Ann Casper, SP, retired as the executive director for Mission Advancement for the Sisters of Providence in 2018 and currently serves as minister of Providence Community Cemetery at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana. Sister Ann has ministered in various scholastic and administrative positions in Indiana and North Carolina. She also was a member of the Sisters of Providence leadership team, serving as General Secretary.

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