A reading from the gospel according to Luke 2:41-52
41 Every year his parents used to go to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover.
42 When he was twelve years old, they went up for the feast as usual.
43 When the days of the feast were over and they set off home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem without his parents knowing it.
44 They assumed he was somewhere in the party, and it was only after a day’s journey that they went to look for him among their relations and acquaintances.
45 When they failed to find him they went back to Jerusalem looking for him everywhere.
46 It happened that, three days later, they found him in the Temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them, and asking them questions;
47 and all those who heard him were astounded at his intelligence and his replies.
48 They were overcome when they saw him, and his mother said to him, ‘My child, why have you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you.’
49 He replied, ‘Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’
50 But they did not understand what he meant.
51 He went down with them then and came to Nazareth and lived under their authority. His mother stored up all these things in her heart.
52 And Jesus grew in wisdom, in stature, and in favor with God and with people.
Reflection: Family and Growing up
The gospel reading above tells us about the “lost” of the child Jesus in the temple and His finding by His parents. As we can see, Mary and Joseph were very religious and dedicated parents. They have complied with the Jewish tradition to visit the holy temple of Jerusalem especially during the Passover holidays. At 12 years old, Jesus traveled with His parents to Jerusalem, a distance of over 100 kilometers from Nazareth, most probably on foot! Today, churches are everywhere yet many parents could not even visit much less with their kids.
Indeed, it is rare nowadays to see whole families attending church services. Let us pray for families to be together not only during meal times but also in the church. Let us also pray for parents to take care of their children. May they be like Mary and Joseph who will never allow their children to get lost, not only physically but also emotionally and spiritually.
Jesus lived under the authority of His parents. In other words, He was obedient to them. Here is the Messiah submitting Himself to the authority of human beings! In our modern age, many people despise the idea of submission. Let us look up to Jesus, the Savior, to reclaim the value of obedience. Also, it is high time that we reemphasize to children the need for them to be obedient.
The year is about to end and in several days we will be changing our calendars. This means we are growing older. We may have been promoted and saw an increase in salary and investment. We may have gained more friends. The question is, “Are we growing in wisdom, in stature and in favor with God and with people?” In other words, are we maturing in our faith journey? Is our relationship with God growing deeper?
Here are a few suggestions on how we can grow in “wisdom, in stature and in favor with God and with people”:
1. Be active in church activities especially in listening to the word of God. Spend more time to be in the “Father’s House to do the “Father’s business”.
2. Always remember that obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22-23). Let us always be reminded to obey the commandments of God.
3. Like Mary, let us keep the Word of God in our heart and ponder on them.
More points for reflection here.