Lk 2: 41-52

Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him.

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” He said to them, “Why were you searching 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. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Celebrating the Holy Family

Yesterday we celebrated the birth of Christ, and fittingly, today we celebrate the reality that Joseph and Mary experienced after Jesus’ birth: being a family together. Jesus did not begin his public ministry until around age thirty, so he would have spent a lot of time with his family before going off to preach the Gospel. The Holy Family had to deal with great days and tough ones, sicknesses and celebrations, and all the other joys and challenges that come from raising a child, trying to make ends meet, and living with one another. In a very particular way, though, they did it with God at the center of their lives.

Whether we’re single, divorced, married, widowed, live with siblings, or have no living relatives at all, we are part of the family of Christ by being his siblings through baptism. We are part of the Holy Family. What a gift!

—Fr. Chris Kellerman, SJ, is a Jesuit priest and member of the Central and Southern Province. He serves as interim executive director of the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola University New Orleans and as assistant pastor at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Baton Rouge, LA. In the Fall of 2022, Orbis Press will publish Chris’s new book on the history of the Catholic Church, slavery, and abolitionism. 



Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I am grateful to be a part of your family. Inspire me to live with God at the center of my life. Amen.

—Fr. Chris Kellerman, SJ