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Feast of the Holy Family 2018

2018/12/30

The Temple

Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking 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. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and

age and favor before God and man. Lk 2:41-52

 

Jesus in the Temple

They returned to Jerusalem. – At a first glance the Scripture informs us uniquely about the fact that the parents of Jesus turned back to Jerusalem, because they did not find him in the caravan. The story however is rich in highly interesting details! See: Maria and Joseph travelled only a day on their way to home when they realized that Jesus is absent. Thus it would seem logical to spend just another day to turn back. However Luke informs us, that they found Jesus after three days. Why were they looking after him in vain for two days? And where did they look after him? In their quarters as it would seem feasible? Where do parents in despair look for a lost child? Would you ask the police? However in Jesus’ time there was no police in Israel. Why they did not look for him in the temple immediately?  – most likely because they did not leave him in the temple, But they trusted their child. After all at the age of twelve he came of age. Therefore he was also able to enter into discussions with the elders.

Now most amazingly or not Jesus does not seem  to miss his parents. Where did he spend the night? Who invited him to dinner? The more we speculate about all this, the clearer it becomes that the relations between parents and children used to be very different at the time of Jesus and nowadays. Furthermore the relations in the Holy Family must have been even more extraordinary. This become even more obvious as Jesus asked his parents: Why were you looking for me?

Why are we looking for Him? And where do we look? Let’s ponder about this in our hearts just as Mary did. Let us reflect on this from the perspective of the parents and from the perspective of the child.

A wonderful lesson in self-awareness!

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph – 30th of December 2018

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