Scripture: Luke 2:41-51 [alternate reading: Mark 12:38-44]
41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom; 43 and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, 44 but supposing him to be in the company they went a day's journey, and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances; 45 and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; 47 and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 And when they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously." 49 And he said to them, "How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" 50 And they did not understand the saying which he spoke to them. 51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.
Meditation: Do you know the pain and grief of losing someone close to you? Mary and Joseph must have felt anxious and helpless when the boy Jesus disappeared. Nonetheless they returned to Jerusalem with confident trust that God would guide them in their hour of trial. Why did Jesus stay back when his parents left for home? Just as the prophet Samuel heard the call of the Lord at a very young age, Jesus in his youth recognized that he has been given a call by his heavenly Father. His answer to his mother's anxious inquiry reveals his trusting faith and confident determination to pursue his heavenly Father's will. Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house? Our Heavenly Father calls each one of us. With the call God gives grace – grace to say "yes" to his will and grace to persevere through obstacles and trials that stand in the way. Do you recognize God's call on your life and do you trust in his grace and strength?
"Lord Jesus, in love you have called me to live for your praise and glory. May I always find joy in your presence and trust in your wise and loving plan for my life."
Psalm 103:1-5, 8-13
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger for ever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor requite us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions