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 travelers, 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.
Today brings this week’s second “Mary feast.” On Tuesday we heard Mary’s Magnificat, spoken to Elizabeth as Mary visits her to share the good news that she is pregnant. Mary tells it this way: “The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.” Today’s passage from Luke vividly depicts Mary and Joseph searching everywhere to find Jesus…who had stayed behind in Jerusalem. We can imagine them frustrated, perhaps a bit annoyed, but notably relieved when they found Jesus back in the temple. “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” Jesus explains. As they retraced their steps and then came home to Nazareth, the gospel explains that Mary “kept all these things in her heart.”
These early days of summer, how do I experience myself as being “in the Father’s house”? What realities of life and faith and relationship–both stressful and life-giving–do I keep in my heart? And what needs, concerns and possibilities do I entrust to Mary’s heart?
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
—from the Hail Mary