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. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
What would go through your mind if you lost the Son of God? I can only imagine the panic, fear, and self-recrimination Mary and Joseph felt as they frantically searched for their beloved son.
It’s easy to recall the many times in my life when I’ve lost track of God. I get so caught up with what’s in front of me: work, an endless to-do list, and various social obligations that I lose track of God’s presence. These times can be disorienting, confusing, stressful. Days can pass before I realize what I am actually missing. When I realize that I’ve lost track of God in the midst of my full and busy life, my search begins anew.
Mary and Joseph find Jesus in the place he’s most likely to be, his Father’s house. In a similar way, after seeking what I’ve lost, I usually find God in the places God most fittingly resides: in connected relationships, in extending forgiveness and grace, in spending time in creation, and in acts of service, love, and compassion. In finding God, I realize, while I may have lost sight of God’s presence, God remained where God was supposed to be.
Which places do you most naturally find God?
—Andy Rebollar is a Pastoral associate at St. Pius X Parish in Grandville, MI and writes for Charis Ministries. www.spxcatholic.org
Jesu that dost in Mary dwell Be in thy servants’ hearts as well, In the spirit of thy holiness, In the fullness of thy force and stress, In the very ways that thy life goes And virtues that thy pattern shows, In sharing of thy mysteries; And every power in us that is Against that power put under feet In the Holy Ghost the Paraclete To the glory of the Father. Amen.—Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. Please share the Good Word with your friends!