On the television news we hear about the thousands of immigrants who walked from different countries to apply for citizenship in our America. All of them that I saw looked bedraggled. I felt so sorry for them as a group of people who didn’t expect this.

I imagine that the journey was the same for Joseph, Mary and Jesus. The trip to Jerusalem for Passover was difficult–days of walking, the City being so crowded with people from all over the place and beyond. The air must have been thick with the smoke and smell of burnt offerings and blood. And of course, the Roman soldiers kept an eye on everything.

Imagine losing your child in this crowd, searching frantically for three days and the joyful relief of finding hin safe! Jesus’ cheeky response always takes me by surprise. Even at twelve he seems as though he knows he has a mission, and from where he has come. But Mary, his mother, the life giver, the courageous woman who said yes, knows there is more to her son’s destiny.

We can sit down momentarily and get our breath once more after the Christmas rush and, just like this family, enjoy the rest. But that won’t last long for us because shortly we will be sharing once more the coming of a new year. For Jesus, Mary, and Joseph—thought and meditation, as they raised the Christ Child, can help us too during our difficult times and assisting others with theirs.

Fr. Andrew, T.O.R.