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.
Every year, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, and later any siblings that Jesus had, made the journey to the temple to celebrate the Passover. Luke recounts one such visit when Jesus is about twelve years old. The family have celebrated and have begun to travel back home, when they realise Jesus is not with them.
Families would have travelled in large groups with other families for protection against bandits and wild animals, so it took a while for Mary and Joseph to realise Jesus wasn’t in the crowd. If you’ve ever lost something or someone, you know how stressful that can be. There is a mix of emotions – panic, fear, anxiety.
Mary and Joseph retrace their steps and find Jesus in the temple. Imagine their relief that Jesus is safe, but also their anger that he has worried them so. A typical event for any family that get separated. However, when they find Jesus, he is speaking with the teachers in the temple, showing great insight. From this story we see the human Jesus, the child with his family, but also the divine Jesus, with wisdom beyond is years.
God of Mary and Joseph
We thank you for our families
For all the time we spend together
For the support that we have for each other in the good and the bad
We thank you for those who have guided us in our lives
Especially those who have guided us to you
Help us to be loving and supportive of others
And to guide others as we have been guided