How many of you read today’s Gospel and thought to yourself – “Boy – I can relate to that?”. St. Mary and St. Joseph seem to have lost the Savior of the world. I think I might too be feeling a bit anxious. My wife and I too have been there and done that – more than once.
My Uncle Bob had come to visit us while we were living in Decatur, IL and we decided to go out to eat one night. We loaded everyone in the van and took off for our favorite Chinese restaurant. My uncle, being the gentleman he is, held the door open for us and as we all filed into the restaurant (me being the last one through), he said to me “I only counted 5 children Jerry, but I could be wrong.”. Sarah and I took a quick headcount and realized our 3rd child wasn’t amongst us. I ran back to the car and took off for the house and as I pulled into the driveway, chastising myself the whole way there as to what kind of a father would do this, my daughter was sitting on the porch swing, arms crossed and red faced. I don’t think she was scared but boy was she HOT. I got an earful on the way back to the restaurant. That is example one – there are more. Hey – don’t judge me.
My next story fasts forwards us a couple of years and we had moved back to St. Louis BUT had gone back to Decatur for a weekend trip to see some old friends. We were staying in a hotel for this trip and we heading up to go to a local watering hole to meet some old friends I had worked with in Decatur. Loaded up the van – did a head count (because you can never be to safe) and left for the restaurant. Thank goodness for cell phones. We were sitting in the restaurant, talking and getting ready to order our lunch and Sarah’s cell phone rang. It was the person working the front desk at the hotel. It seems we left one of our children (Ruth) back at the hotel and they were curious if they should send her back to the room, call a cab for her or maybe we could come back and get her. I excused myself from the table and drove back to get my daughter. Example two; lecture from child number two.
Twice, eh. I could go on – Mary and the Big Wheel; Richard and the nap between the bed and the wall; Walmart; all great stories but my point is Sarah and I can relate to the stress of not doing a proper head count – just like St. Mary and St. Joseph in today’s Gospel…
Gospel LK 2:41-51
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.
I love it when the Gospel comes to life for me like it did today. It gives me hope that when people trusted to safeguard the Savior of the world can have days like Sarah and I – well that just gives me hope.
I would like to highlight one other point made in the Gospel and this gets rather personal for me and my children. Each one of my children is a blessing and an honor from God and I love them dearly and would do anything to make sure that they stay on the path to God’s kingdom. I know some of them read this Blog and I hope those that do pass this on to the others who don’t. My children are my life and it is through them I am shown the love of the Father each and everyday of my life. So what is the point I want to highlight from the Gospel? It is this. Jesus was the Savior of the World. Jesus was the Word made Flesh who came to save us from our sin. After St. Mary and St. Joseph found Him and told them of their anxiety, the Savior of the world did this…He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them…AND WAS OBEDIENT TO THEM!!! Now that is a child you can be proud of – one who was obedient to His parents. 😉
Do something great for our Lord today – celebrate Father’s Day this weekend. Kids, tell your Dad how much you love him; wive’s, give your spouse a hug for being there to help you. But more than all of that, Dad’s tell your children and wife what a blessing they are in your life. And in celebrating this day, let’s not forget two others. St. Joseph, the human mentor for all of the father’s – a man who sacrificed his entire life to be the guardian of the Son of God. And God, the Father – the Creator – of us all. Without God, we ARE nothing; we HAVE nothing. I woke up this morning to this Psalm running through my head and now I know why…
How can I make a return to the Lord for all the good He has done for me? His cup of Salvation I will take up and I will call upon the name of the Lord.
Happy Father’s Day to all of you. I hope your day is blessed with good things and plenty. Glory and Praise to our God, who alone gives light to our days. Many are the blessings He bears to those who trust in His ways…(where have I heard that before)…
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.
Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.
But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness. Compete well for the faith.
Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion – inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us so that in difficult moments, we may not despair nor become despondent but with great confidence, submit ourselves to Your holy will which is Love and Mercy itself.