“Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.”
Gospel: Luke 2: 41-52
41 Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. 43 When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. 44 Assuming that he was in the group of travellers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” 49 He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what he said to them. 51 Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favour.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph visited Jerusalem for the Passover. On the way home Mary and Joseph realized that Jesus was not with their group. They hurried back to Jerusalem to find Him. After an agonizing 3 days they found Him in the Temple, amazing the teachers and elders with His knowledge of the scriptures. When Mary and Joseph questioned Him Jesus was surprised that they didn’t know where He would be – in His Father’s house! Mary treasured all these memories in her heart.
Relating the Gospel to our lives today.
This was not the only time Mother Mary lost Jesus for 3 days. Later on, she also lost Him on the cross and for 3 days in the tomb, before finding Him again in His glorious resurrection.
We lose Jesus all the time. We lose Him in the details of our busy lives. We lose Him in our political ideologies, trying to ‘people please’ everyone around us. We lose Him in our own navel gazing. We lose Him sometimes for years or decades and still refuse to search for Him. But we will always have that feeling that something is missing. This is not only because we desire God, but because God desires us! Despite our imperfections, God joyfully and passionately desires each one of us – and there is nothing we can do to stop Him!
“My God loves me
His love will never end
He rests within my heart
For my God loves me.”
In my experience here in the UK, I feel that most people are looking for ‘something’ but they don’t know what that ‘something’ is. People look for ‘it’ in other religions or spiritual paths – trying to ‘find themselves’. Many look for ‘it’ in human relationships and are disappointed over and over again. But it doesn’t matter how many hours you spend meditating or how many ‘perfect’ relationships you have, you are not going to find what your heart is yearning for if you are looking in the wrong place! Christianity stands apart from all other religions because Christians are invited to enter into a relationship with their creator. The Catechism teaches us that:
“The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for.” – CCC 27
I feel so blessed that I found Jesus – my heart’s true desire, so young at age 18. Before that I too was “searching in great anxiety” for my ‘something’. It took time, but slowly and surely my faith lead me to the unshakable deep-seated peace and joy that I now have in my heart – no matter what life throws at me.
- The desire to search for God is written in the human heart.
- God never ceases to draw man to himself.
- Only in God will we find the truth and happiness we never stop searching for.
I have spent my whole life trying to find happiness. Sometimes I think it is up to my spouse to fulfil me with this type of happiness – but I now know that expectation is unfair and impossible. My heart will only rest when it rests in You. As I draw closer to You, help me understand this more and more. I love You Jesus, Amen.