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Feast of the Holy Family, Year C

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Lectionary: 17
Read: Luke 2:41-52

Gospel Summary
Families living far from Jerusalem were not required by law to attend the feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. However, Mary and Joseph were very devout and chose with members of their family and community to make the long journey to Jerusalem to observe these holy days. On the journey home, Mary and Joseph could not find Jesus but assumed he was with other members of the traveling group. Once they had searched for him everywhere without finding him, they returned to Jerusalem where they continued to search for another three days. Finally, they found him sitting in the temple with teachers who were amazed at his knowledge and answers to their questions. Jesus was surprised by his parents' concern and commented only that he was doing the work of his Father.

Reflection for Families
Some parents may find it unbelievable that Mary and Joseph could have left Jerusalem without making sure they had Jesus with them. These might be the same parents who found the concept of the movie, Home Alone, unthinkable. But some parents can identify with the confusion that comes with a change in routine, extra company, and travel plans can create. While we think we have everything under control, one critical piece is missing but doesn't come to our attention for a period of time. Most oversights are forgivable, but those of us who have lost track of a child, even for a few minutes, can identify with the grief and anxiety Mary and Joseph must have felt during the days they searched the travel party and Jerusalem for Jesus. Like most children, Jesus seemed rather nonplused at the state of his parents when at last they found him. While all parents strive to do their best, most fall short of the goal from time to time. Hopefully we can all smile and find a little reassurance in the fact that a family, holy like ours, also ÒmisplacedÓ a child.

Bringing the Gospel Into Your Family
All of our families are holy. Make a family collage of Òholy moments.Ó Using photos, drawings, or cutout clippings from magazines, think of all the people, events, and times that make your family holy. Include your extended family if possible and invite them to either share stories in the process or share the final product with them.

Discussion Starters

1. A time when I was lost (or someone I love was lost) and really frightened happened when ...
2. My greatest contribution to our family is ...
3. One way I can be more obedient (or helpful) to those who love me is ...


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Posted in: Gospel Reflections C