Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Sunday, Holy Family. Scripture: Lectionary # 17. Sirach 3:2-6.12-14. Psalm
128:1-5. Colossians 3:12-21. Luke 2:41-52.
We celebrate this joyful feast of the Holy Family while being mindful of
all who are parents or have been parents and are now with God. Cycle C of
the liturgy gives us the final account of Jesus childhood coming to an end
in the beautiful yet puzzling passage of the conclusion of Luke’s Infancy
Narrative. It is the story of Jesus being separated from his parents on
the feast of the Passover and his remaining in the Temple area for three
days as they search for him with great sorrow. Jesus stuns them when they
find him and he says, “Why did you search for me?” His short answer is too
direct and mysterious. They did not grasp what he said to them. The story
ends with his going down to Nazareth with them and living out his youth
while growing into manhood with them.
Do we search for Jesus as intensely as they did? Are we led to ponder over
our searching and our not grasping what he is all about? Do we search for
him in our sorrows, our joys, and our dull times? Do we eventually find
him in all of these after searching as Joseph and Mary did? Or do we give
up the search and remain within our own boundaries while never risking to
take up the search again and again till we find him? It took Mary and
Joseph three days to find him. We probably need more time than that; maybe
even years before we really find the Lord Jesus.
Jesus returned with them to Nazareth where he grew into maturity both in
the sight of his neighbors and in the sight of God. He listened to his
mother and father and learned from them while progressing in wisdom and age
(his humanity) and grace (his divinity) before God and before our own eyes
as we read this Gospel.
One of the simplest and finest meditations on this mystery of the Finding
of the Child Jesus by the Holy Family is that of the highly intelligent and
holy Pope Paul VI: “How I would like to return to my childhood and attend
the simple yet profound school that is at Nazareth! How wonderful to be
close to Mary, learning again the lesson of the true meaning of life,
learning again God’s truths. But here we are only on pilgrimage. Time
presses and I must set aside my desire to stay and carry on my education in
the Gospel, for that education is never finished. But I cannot leave
without recalling, briefly and in passing, some thoughts I take with me
from Nazareth.” (Selection from Paul VI address of Jan. 5, 1964).