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The bewildering child

April 28, 2017

Mary, Jesus’ mother’s question seems suggestive. She asks Jesus, ‘How can you get along so fine without as much a thought of your parents?’ (For this was her startled question to her rather engrossed boy among the Temple elders in deep debate and that after what must’ve been some 4 good days of barely seeing his parents: ‘Son why have you treated us like this?’) For, the little boy-Jesus, all of 12, seemed a tad too independent and uncaring to have been out of his parents’ sight that long and still not feel the need!! For to have already set out on a journey – of about a day or two- without the knowledge of their son accompanying (the group), the parents must have taken at least a day or two’s conditioning (to his persistent absence) prior to that, to have assumed he must be there somewhere along with the rest but only wrongly so. But Mary’s anger (after this compounded problem of a missing child, exacerbated by what must’ve been an anxious, tiring and wasteful journey on either a mule’s back or by walk) was only returned with an even harsher response: ‘Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?’ And the reply appears not so much to annoy her, but certainly a kind of defense of himself, but more the boy-Jesus’ own shock (in addition to a typical boy’s lack of a parent’s perspective and impulse) that his mother could have missed such a simple and straightforward explanation! Phew, poor Mary (I can even imagine her breaking down in anger)!

Clearly that episode ended up pretty sour for Mary right then for she hadn’t grasped what Jesus had said, but this would be deeply etched in her memory for after Jesus’ resurrection she would recollect this to Luke the Gospel writer. And sure enough Luke is careful to note immediately following this narration that never again Jesus erupted so to his earthly parents, but instead went back with them and remained humbly obedient to them.

What an experience must’ve been Mary’s!

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