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First, once again, Merry Christmas to all who are reading this post.
I hope that you were able to gather together with loved ones. Perhaps you are still away with family or friends. Personally, it was good to spend some time yesterday with my dad and other family members. I’ll spend a few more days with them before I return to Cleveland.
Throughout the Christmas season, we bask in the light of Christ’s birth, for he came to us out of love. His love for us is meant to be shared. Even in the most difficult situations, we must do our best to bring Christ to others. He is the light in our darkness.
Today’s reading tells the story of the finding of Jesus in the Temple.
Of course, his parents were disturbed when they discovered that Jesus had stayed behind and was not with them in the caravan of many persons that had left Jerusalem the day before after the conclusion of Passover. It might seem odd that Mary and Joseph had not kept a better eye on Jesus, but times were different then. Men travelled in one group and women in another group. The children could be with either the men or the women. Thus, it took some time before both Joseph and Mary knew that Jesus was not with either of them. They must have been frantic as they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. It took them three days, but they eventually found Jesus in the temple.
Luke recounts that Jesus was “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.”
Jesus was in his element. He was talking about God from his own divine heart. He was in the temple, the greatest place of worship on earth at the time. His parents were still none too happy with him, and Mary said, “Son, why have you done this to us?” It was a difficult situation. But Jesus would bring light to it. He always does.
And now we come to the first recorded words of Jesus in the Gospels. He responded to his mother, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
Jesus had just highlighted his special relationship to his Heavenly Father. He was God’s son.
Today is the Feast of the Holy Family. It is a time to remember that Jesus must be at the center of all that we do as families, including as the family of the Church. If we lose sight of Jesus in our family life, then we must go in search of him. He will be found wherever the things of God are found.
We can be sure to find Jesus in the temple of our churches and chapels, in the words of our Sacred Scriptures where Jesus speaks to us, in the Blessed Sacrament reserved in our tabernacles, and in the tabernacle of our own hearts. He is also found, he tells us, in the faces of the poor and the unwanted. That is why so many people have found Jesus by working with those who are the least among us.
May our families and the members of our family of faith stay close to each other and close to Jesus. Then we will know of the Father’s care for us and, with Mary, ponder all these great things in our own hearts.
Have a blessed week everyone.