Saturday, March 19th – Kim Duhe
Gospel: LK 2:41-51a
Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover,
and when he was twelve years old,
they went up according to festival custom.
After they had completed its days, as they were returning,
the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem,
but his parents did not know it.
Thinking that he was in the caravan,
they journeyed for a day
and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances,
but not finding him,
they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.
After three days they found him in the temple,
sitting in the midst of the teachers,
listening to them and asking them questions,
and all who heard him were astounded
at his understanding and his answers.
When his parents saw him,
they were astonished,
and his mother said to him,
“Son, why have you done this to us?
Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”
And he said to them,
“Why were you looking for me?
Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
But they did not understand what he said to them.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth,
and was obedient to them.
A Parent’s Biggest Fear…
My child is missing? My child is missing! MY CHILD IS MISSING!!!
We rarely think of the “boy Jesus.” At Christmas we ponder the miracle and humbleness of “Baby Jesus” and the rest of the year most of us only think of Jesus the man, teacher and savior. Luke’s Gospel gives us the only gospel glimpse of the “boy Jesus” and I often ponder why Luke included this particular story. Sure, the teacher in me knows that Luke wants to offer more stories about Jesus than the other gospel writers and that this event foreshadows what will happen later in the gospel account but it can still seem confusing.
The parent in me wants to get really mad. How dare this 12 year old boy scare his parents like that and then give such a “flippant answer” when they question his motivation. How dare he sit casually among the scholars of the temple discussing “stuff” while his parents frantically travel a day’s journey back and search a crowded city desperate to locate their missing child. What is this supposed to mean to me?
Here are some thoughts…
There really is a plan and a purpose to our lives. It’s going to work out the way it’s meant to with or without our permission, intervention, over thinking or stress. It just will. Parents probably have the hardest time with this in regards to our children. We want to be in control of them… what they like or don’t like, where they go, who they hang out with, what they do, eat, read, watch… But they aren’t really ours. Each person God creates is perfect and exactly how God intended for them to be. Repeat: How God intended them to be. Our job is to love! Love one another and support each other but let every person be free to answer God’s call in their own ways. When we accept that God has called that person on a different path than the one we wanted them to travel with us, it is ok to go back and check on them but we might have to ultimately accept that they have actually been where God intended them to be all along. It’s convoluted but simple: we can plan and organize and micromanage every detail in our lives and it doesn’t mean anything if that isn’t the plan God has for us. Sometimes we just have to accept the plan whether it is for us or for those we think of as “ours.” Accept and love just as God our Heavenly Father accepts and loves: fully and unconditionally.
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
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