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Today’s Reading: Luke 2:41-52
41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. 42And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom; 43 and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, 44 but supposing him to be in the company they went a day’s journey, and they sought him among their kinsfolk andacquaintances; 45 and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking 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 And when they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.” 49 And he said to them, “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50 And they did not understand the saying which he spoke tothem. 51And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man.
After three days: A time of great anxiety for Mary and Joseph. Thinking Jesus was with their caravan of Galilean pilgrims, they left the city without him.
listening . . .asking: Jewish religious instruction often involved posing questionsand wrestling with them in the light of Scripture. Jesus’ insights as a boy astonished even the learned rabbis.
Allegorically (St. Ambrose, In Lucam): the discovery of Jesus in the Temple prefigures his Resurrection, when Christ will be three days absent in death, only to be found again in the flesh. The anxiety following his burial will likewise give way to joy and relief at his rising.
Did you not know: Jesus is not rebuking Mary and Joseph, as though they had done something wrong, but instructs them on how their parental role must be subordinate to the will of his divine Father. His parents do have an important part to play in his mission, as indicated in the subsequent context, where Jesus submits himself to their leadership and honors them with the faithful obedience of a son.
my Father’s house: Literally, “in that of my Father”. This could refer to the Temple specifically or to his mission from the Father more generally.
Jesus increased: The human development of Jesus was a process of building character and acquiring experiential knowledge that kept pace with his physical and psychological growth. At the end of these developmental stages, Christ’s life as a man was a perfect reflection of his divine Sonship.
Luke’s description recalls young Samuel’s maturation in 1 Sam 2:26.