“Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” – Luke 2:7
For three days Mary and Joseph anxiously searched for Jesus, and on finding him, Mary asks, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”
The losing and finding of Jesus is portrayed in Catholic spirituality as both a joy and a sorrow. It is one of the joyful mysteries meditated in the Rosary. It is also one of the seven sorrows in the corona of the seven sorrows of Mary. It could also be seen as a joy and sorrow of Joseph.
Jesus has come into his manhood at the Passover, as is the custom for Jewish boys at the age of twelve. He would have been attending the Passover and participating more fully as an adult. He must have discovered his relationship with God was a unique one, and he gently conveyed this to Mary and Joseph, “…I must be in my Father’s house…”
He went home and was obedient to them. Despite the unveiling of Jesus’ identity, he is perfect in his sonship in his earthly family.
This moment would have brought about a great fulfillment to the mystery that Mary and Joseph carried with them these past twelve years as they settled into a daily rhythm with Jesus. Jesus didn’t walk around with a halo that pointed to his being the Son of God. They waited and prayed for a sign of what was promised by the angel. Much like the prophets Simeon and Anna, who spent their lives in quiet waiting for the Messiah. Today’s proclamation by Jesus gave Mary and Joseph much to rejoice in, and yet ponder anew that God was living under their roof.
May God bless you.