Luke 2:46. After three days they found Jesus in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.
There are some days when I feel calm, happy, and good about myself and my place in the world. On days like those, when faced with a situation in which one of my children is behaving in a surprising or troubling way, I can respond in the manner of what I like to call a “Zen parent”, full of empathy and love, calmly seeking a solution in the most logical and progressive way. Of course, there are other kinds of days, when in spite of knowing better, I find myself caught completely off guard, reacting to my kids in loud, short-tempered, and in hindsight, regrettable ways.
And so, when reading this passage about Joseph and Mary finally finding Jesus in the temple three days after losing track of him, I have to wonder what kind of mood they were in, and which combination of these two extremes they were feeling when they finally found Jesus. The subsequent passages in Luke make it sound like they were just puzzled by his behavior, but what about beforehand? What mixture of worry and anger might they have been feeling on their way back to Jerusalem?
In the end it seems, Joseph and Mary were not quite able to understand what Jesus was talking about when he explained himself to them, and I can certainly relate to that. Our kids are each unique and different from us, on their own journey through life, which we can never fully understand. All we can do is pray, perhaps as Joseph and Mary did, that we can, with God’s help, do our best to help them get to where they are called to go.
—David Paranchych and Kim Malcolm