Updated: Jan 8
(Adults, you could begin by reading the first paragraph of the reflection to the child, then read the Gospel, and then continue with the reflection.)
The feast has come! Now we celebrate! Jesus, the Light, enters our world as a tiny baby, just like we do. Just like us, he learns how to sit up, he learns how to walk, he learns how to run. Just like us, he learns how to talk, how to read, how to write. There are so many things to learn. In the Gospel for this Sunday, we hear about Jesus when he is twelve years old, a great big boy. He is still learning. His parents are learning, too.
Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival.
Jerusalem is the most holy city for the Jewish people because in Jerusalem is the Temple, and in the Temple is the Tabernacle, and in the Tabernacle is the presence of God.
When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. 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. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him.
If Jesus is in Jerusalem, where will he be? In the most holy city, where would Jesus go?
After three days they found him in the temple
In the Temple! Of course! But what is he doing there?
sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.
Jesus is listening and learning. He is growing. Just like us.
But his parents are very surprised. His mother Mary, says,
‘Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you
When Mary says, "your father and I have been searching," who does she mean? Who has been searching for Jesus with her? Mary is talking about Joseph, her husband, who takes care of both her and Jesus.
But Jesus says,
‘Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’
When Jesus says he must be in his Father's house, who is he talking about? Does he mean Joseph? No. Joseph's house is not in Jerusalem. Jesus is speaking of someone more.
Jesus is in the Temple. Who does the Temple belong to? Whose house is the Temple?
Oh. Perhaps Jesus means God's house. Jesus is calling God his Father.
Jesus is listening and learning about God his Father. He is growing in God.
Just like us?
Can we listen and learn about God? Can we grow in God? Perhaps Jesus shows us how.
Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them.
Jesus does not stay in the Temple. He goes to Nazareth, to the home of Mary and Joseph. But Jesus says he must be in his Father's house. If Jesus is in his Father's house, where is his Father's house now?
When Jesus goes home with Mary and Joseph, his Father's house is with them. God's house is Jesus' home.
When Jesus leaves his home and travels, he has new homes. Then where is his Father's house? Jesus must be in his Father's house. Could God's house be wherever Jesus is?
Oh, ho! Wherever Jesus is, there is God's house.
There is God's home.
His mother treasured all these things in her heart.
What things is Mary treasuring in her heart? Could she be treasuring God's home? Could God's home be in her heart?
Maybe we can think about that this week as we celebrate the feast of Christmas. We can ask questions, just like Jesus.
God, can a heart be your home?