June 4th, 2016: Immaculate Heart of Mary. Luke 2:41-51.
ADid you not know that I must be in my Father=s house?@ Jesus asks his worried parents, worn out from a frantic three-day search for their twelve-year-old son. The question is Jesus= first recorded utterance in Luke=s gospel. He speaks the words in the building which, for all believing Jews of that day, including Jesus himself, was the earthly dwelling place of God. The
was the most sacred shrine of the people God had chosen to be especially his
With Jesus= coming, however, God was creating a new dwelling place on earth: not a building of wood and stone, but the living flesh of the twelve-year-old boy who stood in that building and spoke of his need to be Ain my Father=s house.@
Here is what Pope Benedict says in his book about the infancy narratives about this exchange between mother and son:
Jesus’ reply to his mother’s question is astounding: How so? You were looking for me? Did you not know where a child must be? That he must be in his father’s house, literally ‘in the things of the Father,’ Jesus tells his parents: ‘I am in the very place where I belong – with the Father, in his house.’ There are two principal elements to note in this reply. Mary had said: ‘Your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.’ Jesus corrects her: I am with my father. My father is not Joseph, but another – God himself. It is to him that I belong, and her I am with him. Could Jesus’ divine sonship be presented any more clearly? (p. 123f)
Today’s gospel reading tells us that Jesus’ parents “did not grasp what he said to them.” As time went on, there would be much more that Mary and Joseph did not grasp and could not understand, at the time it was happening. They continued to trust in their Son, nonetheless, and to believe in him.
What better prayer could we offer, as the Church today celebrates Mary’s immaculate heart, than to ask that her trust and faith may be ours.