Reflection – December 26, 2021

 

Chuck Lamphier ’03, ’05 M.Ed., ’10 MNA
Executive Director
Office of Mission Engagement and Church Affairs

I think a lot about the lessons, good and bad, that I teach my children. What do they learn when I dry their tears or encourage them to pick themselves up? What do they take away from seeing me stare at my phone or hugging their Mom? I’ve been a parent long enough to know that my children are attentively watching.

I wonder what Jesus learned from his parents’ relief at finding their son. What did he take away from their frantic three days of searching for him after leaving behind the safety of their caravan? What impression was left on Jesus in the wake of being lost in the eyes of his parents?

The gospel doesn’t tell us the precise answers to these questions. However, Jesus must have meditated on his parents’ example (and perhaps their haranguing) on the godly response to those who are lost.

In time, Jesus would tell a story about a lost coin and the great celebration when found. He preached a parable about a lost sheep and a shepherd who searched for it with reckless abandon. Later, Jesus reflected on a father who joyfully ran to his lost son the very moment that son took a step toward home.

Today’s gospel tells us that Mary, “kept all these things in her heart,” and I’m sure she did. But, I daresay, so did Jesus. Through the teaching and example of his loving parents, Jesus gained a newfound measure of insight into the heart of our God, who, when we are lost and cannot find our way home, loves us more than ever.

I pray that we may be infused with that wisdom and that we may give witness to it as beautifully as Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Those around us are surely watching.

 

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