Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them. Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart
Any parent who has lost a child for a few moments, let alone three days, old know and feel the panic that must have been coursing through Mary and Joseph. And where do they find Jesus: in the temple - 'in my Father’s house.'
I want us to think of other characters in the story for a moment. Jesus has been in the Temple courts for 3 days. Some kind folk must have fed him, watered him and given him a place to sleep. We would do well to remember these un-named people. We would do well to dwell on their example.
Prayer. May we always act with kindness and generosity towards the stranger among us. For that way, we may encounter angels. We might even encounter Jesus. Amen.