“Each year his 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 (Luke 2:41-50).”
Meditating on the Fifth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary offers us much to contemplate. The passage from Luke (2:41-50) that tells of Mary and Joseph leaving Jesus behind in Jerusalem, their return in search of Jesus, and their finding him, is complex. We have the family with all their extended relatives journeying to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover. We learn that Jesus was twelve years old, on the brink of manhood, when he separated from the family to speak with the elders of the church. There is the stress involved in losing a child and the search that most parents can relate to. And then there is Jesus’ matter-of-fact response to his mother’s concerns.
When my children were young, I identified with the frantic parents in search of their child. As I’ve grown older, my thoughts often go to the hope that I never lose sight of Jesus, that I always know where to find him.