If you notice that you have distanced yourself from Jesus, do not lose heart!

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Sam. 1: 20-22, 24-28; Psalm 83; 1 St. John 3: 11- 2. 21-24

Read: Every year Jesus’ parents used to go to Jerusalem for the feast of Easter; also, when he was twelve years old according to the custom at the Easter feast. When those days had passed, they started their journey back, but the young Jesus remained at Jerusalem without the knowledge of his parents. They thought that he was with others who were journeying with them; however, after a day’s journey, they looked for him amongst their relatives and others known to them, and they did not find him, and thus they returned to Jerusalem looking for him.

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting amongst the teachers, listening to them and putting questions to them; and all who heard him were amazed by his knowledge and with his answers. They were stunned when they saw him and his mother said to him: “My son, why did you do this to us? See, your father and I were looking for you with a broken heart.” And he said to them: “And why were you looking for me? Do you not know that I should be looking after my father’s business?” But they did not understand his words. Then he joined them and returned to Nazareth, and he was obedient to them. And his mother felt in her heart all these things. Thus, Jesus continued to grow in wisdom, in years and in grace, in the presence of God and all mankind.

Reflect: There are many semblances between when Joseph and Mary lost Jesus and then found him in the temple, and our own spiritual life. At the beginning of this happening, Joseph and Mary are content. Eventually, after a number of years, they were able to go to Jerusalem to give homage to God whom they loved above everything else. They were full of peace and God’s happiness. The same is the case with us when we are near to God and His Church, our new Jerusalem.

But on their way back home, Mary and Joseph certainly had not noticed that they were slowly distancing themselves from Jesus. Distracted as they were in the company of their relatives and friends, they did not notice that Jesus was no longer with them. Often, we ourselves are distracted by what appears to be good, when in reality we are actually distancing ourselves from what is more important.

It is difficult for us to recognise when something else is taking over our interior/spiritual life. That is why Jesus told us to pray – so that we learn to give due attention to this important aspect of our life to which we often do not give enough attention.

When we stop reflecting, there is a chance of being shocked as happened to Mary and Joseph when they said “Where is Jesus?”. Because in all sincerity we would be thinking that he is with us, and then we do not find him. We do not notice that we were gradually distancing ourselves from him. Now Jesus is lost, or better still, we find ourselves lost. Jesus is present where he always is: in the house of the Father, in God’s temple, that is in ourselves.

Pray: With Mary let us cherish in our heart all these things.

Act: If you notice that you have distanced yourself from Jesus, do not lose heart! This is part of our spiritual journey that involves that there are moments when we feel that we have Jesus with us, moments when we lose Jesus, moments when we search for Jesus, moments when we find Jesus, and moments when we discover again who is Jesus for us.

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