Luke 2:41-52 Feast of the Holy Family
Every year the parents of Jesus used to go to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up for the feast as usual. When they were on their way home after the feast, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem without his parents knowing it. They assumed he was with the caravan, and it was only after a day’s journey that they went to look for him among their relations and acquaintances. When they failed to find him, they went back to Jerusalem looking for him everywhere.
Three days later, they found him in the temple, sitting among the doctors, listening to them, and asking them questions; and all those who heard him were astounded at his intelligence and his replies. They were overcome when they saw him, and his mother said to him, “My child, why have you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you? “Why were you looking for me?” he replied. “Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s affairs?” But they did not understand what he meant. He then went down with them and came to Nazareth and lived under their authority.
His mother stored up all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom, in stature, and in favour with God and men.
GUIDELINES TO HELP US TO MEDITATE ON THE PASSAGE SO AS TO RECOGNIZE AND CELEBRATE GOD’S PRESENCE AND ACTIVITY IN OUR LIVES AND WORLD TODAY.
(Prepared by Volunteers from the Lectio Centre project)
1.Bringing up children is a lofty calling, perhaps the greatest of all! Remember, as Parents, the difficulties, frustrations, tensions and misunderstandings involved – times you felt you had “lost them” and overcome with worry you spent days looking for them – and by the grace of God, you found each other again. We pray for all parents, for strength, patience and understanding and forgiveness especially during the difficult times.
2.Remember the experiences as parents of struggling with “when and how” to let go of the children -You wanted to see your child grow up, make their own choices, find their own voice and own place in the world, and at the same time you wanted to protect them and guide them for as long as possible in the ways of “wisdom and stature and in favour with God and people”. Lord, help us as Parents to give of our best by word and example and then to leave our children in your hands.
3.Family upbringing, at its best, will always prepare us to take our place of service in the wider world – “with the caravan. Among their relations and acquaintances…in Jerusalem…among the teachers.” Lord, help us as a society and church always to cherish and support family life as the matrix for building a better world for all.
4.We remember families, and extended families, torn apart by domestic violence, betrayal or abuse. With Mary we “store up all these things in our hearts” and ask God to touch all family life with healing and peace.