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.
At Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, today’s Gospel is the framing Scripture passage for the morning prayer on Day 2 of our Kairos retreat. To begin to address the question “Who is Jesus?” we invite students into an Ignatian contemplation, to use their senses to imagine themselves as “onlooker-participants” in the scene. We consider the humanity of Jesus—his growth and learning, his feelings, and his relationships—and ponder what they might mean for us as disciples.
Today, as we navigate both the ongoing pandemic and our Gospel call to end racism and white supremacy, perhaps an encounter with Jesus’ humanity is precisely what we need. In Jesus, I find a companion on the way, one who knew what it was like to grow and learn over time, to feel deeply, and to be in meaningful relationship with others.
Might I be open to practicing Ignatian contemplation with Jesus today?
You move in and through our imaginations.
Help us to enter into the story of Jesus,
Who shows us what it means to be fully human,
So that we may see more clearly
God’s face in ourselves and each other.
—Katie Davis-CrowderPlease share the Good Word with your friends!