One of the classic Christmas movies is Home Alone. It’s amusing to see all the traps Kevin sets for the robbers and how they fall into them. However, you who are parent’s may be able to relate what the mother is going through as her son is back at home by himself. Hopefully, none of you have had an experience as bad as a kid being hundreds of miles away from you, but you may have had an experience of getting separated at the store or in a park, you turn away for a few seconds, and suddenly you can’t find them. I know that can feel like an eternity before you find your child even if it is only 5 minutes later.
I can’t even begin to think about what is going through Mary and Joseph’s mind and heart as they can’t find their son in the caravan going home from Jerusalem. During that time people would travel in caravans because traveling alone was very dangerous, robbers and other dangers are on the roads in the ancient world, moving in a massive group help keep you safe. However, there is still always a chance something wrong could happen. We know the rest of the story Mary and Joseph return to Jerusalem and after three days they find our Lord in the temple talking to the scribes and surprising them. As Parent’s, I’m sure you can relate to what Mary and Joseph went through as they found our Lord. First relief and joy that they found their son but to some anger and disappointment. It is natural for them to feel this way and it reminds us even though Mary remained sinless in her life, she was still human and felt human emotions too.
What this story too teaches about our Lord is that he still had to grow in wisdom and knowledge even though he was divine. Luke tells us that after this, “[Jesus] went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them;” and “[He] advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man.” Jesus just like you and I did as children had to learn valuable lessons. He had to learn the importance of staying together while in Jerusalem and because of that he got separated. I wouldn’t doubt Mary told Jesus when he was young, don’t lose sight of us when we are in Jerusalem. Luke tells us that after this event Jesus remained obedient to his parents and grew in wisdom. God wanted Jesus to learn from his parent’s and grow in understanding just as you and I did.
Mary too grew in understanding of who her son is. Luke tells us that Mary pondered all of these things in her heart. She spent time in prayer, pondering the meaning of what this event meant. She is an example to us of how to ponderGod’s word and too how to ponder things in our own lives. It’s easy for us to run around and never slow down and reflect on life, Mary, however, pondered things deeply and reflected on her life.
I think too the Holy Family is an example we can follow after in our own lives. Even though Jesus was fully God, he still entrusted himself to a family. The truth of all human life, even for the God-man himself, is that everyone has a father and a mother, everyone has a family. We know in this world children get separated from the biological parents, or some children might be adopted. However, no matter if we grew up with our biological family or not we all grew up in a family and it has an impact on our lives. Mary and Joseph helped Jesus grew in Wisdom, and all of us were influenced and taught by the family we grew up around.
In the Feast of the Holy Family we don’t only remember Jesus Mary and Joseph we too remind ourselves that the vocation of marriage, the call to raise a family is a holy one. Many times when we see a young man or woman on fire with the faith, being active in the Church, we think he would make a great priest, or she would make a great religious sister. However, I ask you do we look at young people and say he would make a great husband and father, or he would make a great wife and mother. God does call some to the priesthood and religious life, and we should continue to encourage those vocations. However, most of us are called to the married life and to raise a family. Pray for holy families and encourage your children no matter what path of life they follow to be faithful to God. The family we have helps us become whomGod created us to be, follow the example of the holy family so we can become more like them and grow in wisdom and holiness.