Home » Gospel Reflections » Sunday, December 26, 2021: The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Gospel reflection

Sunday, December 26, 2021: The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Gospel – 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.

Reflection

“And he said to them, ‘Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s House?’”

In October and November of this year, I took six weeks away from my job. I have worked in the same place for 31 years. The responses from those around me were varied. Those who know me well seemed to understand that there was something I needed to be doing in that time. There were also those who were not clear or comfortable about what I was doing. When asked what my plan was for this time, I responded that I wanted to walk toward something that was drawing me from deep inside. I had arrived at a place in my life that left no other choice. I needed to follow the voice I was hearing.

This experience has helped me understand Jesus’ response to his understandably anxious, worried and angry parents. Jesus knew that his parents would respond in this way as clearly as I knew how some persons around me would respond. Jesus knew that he was called to be exactly where he was in the temple. He knew because he listened to the same deep inner voice that spoke to me. Isn’t that amazing? God spoke to Jesus in the same voice God was using with me.

Action

This week’s action is very simple. Focus on the act of listening. Focus on what you are hearing. Consider what you are not hearing. Are certain words or feelings or emotions becoming clear? What is this about? If you keep a journal, consider writing about your experience this week.

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Alice Shelton

Providence Associate Alice Shelton lives in Indianapolis with her husband John. She is a graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and enjoys her work as director of business services at Marian University.

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3 Comments

  1. Stephen Modde on December 23, 2021 at 1:01 pm

    This is an excellent reflection. S. Joan Chittister writes that in our elder years, we tend to ruminate about decisions we made, but we must be aware that we acted with the skills we had available at that time. As I sometimes ruminate about past decisions and relationships, Alice’s words here bring even greater clarity to my past decisions and events: “I wanted to walk toward something that was drawing me from deep inside. I had arrived at a place in my life that left no other choice. I needed to follow the voice I was hearing.” Just like Jesus did! Her words here are so right-on, exact and upligting! Thanks Alice.

    • PAULA DAMIANO, SP on December 23, 2021 at 7:25 pm

      Thank you. Alice. Your reflections are always insightful. Blessings…

  2. Denise on December 28, 2021 at 5:57 am

    Listening…a skill, an art, a necessity, an entry way to compassion. Thanks, Alice.

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