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 travellers, 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.
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 http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
In the Chicago parish grammar school where I grew up there were two classroom wings which formed an “L”. If you stood at the apex of that “L” (which Sr. Mary Grace, the principal, often did) you could monitor both wings at the same time. On the wall at the far end of the east wing was a painting of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; on the wall at the end of the north wing was a painting of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Our lives as children were marked by the loving gaze of both Jesus and Mary. It was almost as if we all stood in the crossbeams of two amazing loves!
As we celebrate today’s feast of Mary’s Immaculate Heart, each of us knows just how Mary has kept the adventures and misadventures of our lives “in memory,” as today’s gospel reading says. This feast reminds us that our days and years are “stitched together” in God’s good grace. Perhaps this is an appropriate day to examine those “stitches,” to thank God for all the growth and grace that have come our way, and to offer our lives once again to Jesus and his Mother. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and the hour of our death. Amen!
—the Jesuit Prayer Team
Lord, each of us has been blessed with unique gifts. We have received just the right combination of talents to build your kingdom. It is through this divine synergy that we truly achieve our best self. Lord, help us to be faithful in uniting our hopes and aspirations with your Spirit. United with you we will persevere through obstacles and disappointments. We will experience unexpected joy, wonderful surprises, and cherished relationships.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team