Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,
The Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary
After three days [Mary and Joseph] found [Jesus] in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions...
It can be a good exercise to put ourselves in the place of Mary and Joseph in this situation. By the time they found Jesus in the temple, they had been looking for him for more than five days. That's a long time! Imagine what it would be like to have a child go missing for five days. Mary and Joseph must have been freaking out, for pity's sake! We know how the account turns out. We know they find Jesus safe and sound. So we may think of Mary and Joseph calmly wandering around Jerusalem looking for the 12-year-old Jesus. But Luke clearly describes them as looking for Jesus "with great anxiety" (verse 48). In other words, they were freaking out. This demonstrates that even great faith doesn't preclude freaking out--for Mary and Joseph, or for us.
Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
Launceston on Tasmania