Author: Holly Reimer
Reflection: v. 50, ‘But they didn’t understand what he said to them.’
Joseph and Mary did not understand Jesus’ needs and desires to be listening and learning in the temple. I imagine it felt like an affront to them that he’d stayed behind, creating worry and despair and the difficulties in looking past their own fears and expectations of Jesus. This event is just the beginning, a foreshadowing, of the emotional pain and conflict that will come as a result of Jesus’ vocation for those closest to him. How often is this true for us? Conflict comes when we go outside the norms and expectations placed upon us. For some who are seeking to be healthier, whether it is in their recoveries or creating boundaries in unhealthy relationships, it becomes difficult to make a change and break away, creating space to say, ‘no more.’ People who have been in our lives, can’t understand where they change is coming from or why things even need to change at all. Being faithful sometimes means that we must separate ourselves, refusing to live our lives by the standards of the world, recognizing our own responsibility and participation in God’s kingdom. Yes, Jesus went back with his parents, and was ‘obedient’ as my translation offers. But let us remember, that there will come a time when we will need to stand out and stand apart from what the world expects of us, so we can fully live into God’s calling for us—a calling that requires us to be agents of change, justice, peace, love, and mercy.
Prayer Lord, help us to be faithful to you. Help us to have the courage to stand out and stand up with it is most important, even when it is most difficult. Amen.