From the desk of Ms. Kathleen Cook, Director of Religious Education
Theme: Mary visits Elizabeth, who sings praise to Mary and her child.
Summary: Today’s gospel presents us with Joseph having an experience, yet again, of God coming to him in a dream. You will recall that it was in a dream that God told Joseph to take Mary into his home and now he is instructed to protect Mary and Jesus by fleeing into Egypt. Joseph remains open to all of God’s commands even though they come in a dream-like fashion. Each person in a family has a dream for their life and for their family. Clearly the primary figure in this passage is Joseph and although he does not say a word, his actions speak loudly of his trust in God.
Scripture: 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?” Luke 2:48-49
When Jesus was a young boy, his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. After the feast was over, as Mary and Joseph were traveling back to their home, they began to look for Jesus, but he was nowhere to be found. When they could not find him, they turned around and went back to Jerusalem to look for him.
Jesus was in the temple. When his parents found him, he said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”
Reflect: If a word or phrase from the Gospel captures your heart, sit quietly for several minutes, repeating it to yourself and asking God to show you how it applies to your life. Or reflect and possibly journal on the following question: What are three ways you could bring more holiness to your family life?
Suggested book that compliments today’s Gospel:
A Father’s Love
Written by Lorhainne Eckhart
Family Discussion: Today’s Gospel describes a time of anxiety in the life of Jesus’ family. We can imagine their panic and worry as they discovered that Jesus was not with the caravan returning to Nazareth. The Holy Family journeyed with family members and friends because traveling alone was dangerous. When they found Jesus at the Temple, Jesus spoke like a typical adolescent, unsympathetic to his parents’ concern. Yet his words teach an important lesson about reducing anxiety in our family life. In essence, Jesus says, “If you had remembered who I am, you would have known where to find me.” In their panic, Mary and Joseph had forgotten what had been told to them before Jesus’ birth, that their son was the Son of God. Knowing a person well helps reduce our anxieties for them because we can better predict how they will behave, and we know their capacity to handle the challenges life might present to them.
As you gather as a family, have fun playing the game “How well do you know me?” Take turns trying to stump one another by asking family members questions about yourself, such as “What is my favorite memory of a family vacation?” “Given a choice, what dinner menu would I pick?” “If I could travel anywhere in the world, where would I go?” One member of the family might prepare and read the questions aloud as each person writes down the answers. Family members then take turns guessing the answers, playing this game as a quiz show. Observe that one thing about families is that we learn to know each other well.