Today we celebrate the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In today’s Gospel we here the familiar story of the holy family traveling to the Temple for the Passover and how Jesus was separated from them. St. Luke tells us, “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; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.”
Mary and Joseph must have been beside themselves when they couldn’t find Jesus. Imagine how they felt not knowing where their son was for three days. When they finally found him he didn’t answer their questions rather he questioned them. I can only imagine how much turmoil Mary and Joseph experienced. Yet through it all Mary “kept it all in her heart.” She never complained, she trusted God’s plan and left everything to God.
Mary’s example teaches us to turn to the Lord for strength and guidance. When we are struggling or anxious God give us peace and tranquility. Let us remember to pray each day to have the grace to be more like Mary.
Pat Schifini, OSU