They had only one kid and they lost him. The majority of us try to avoid speaking about the negative at family reunions. Obviously the Blessed Mother remembered years later when she related the story to St. Luke so that he could write it in the Gospel.
Perhaps one reason was to show that Jesus was a normal boy who caused a few headaches. Although Our Lord never sinned, we have evidence that he did get lost, at least once. Three days is a long time for a child to be without His parents. A typical 12 year old is not helpless—but there was food, lodging, safety to consider. Not only was Jesus able to take care of Himself, He made some friends—teachers who were impressed with His understanding. Many children know more than we are willing to admit. Considering the level of exposure to technology, a typical 3rd grader can come over and fix my computer. Cell phone—no challenge. I Pad—piece of cake. Children are being exposed to machines even during infancy. Television has been the main source of information, education, and baby-sitting for years. Yet, as we are aware, technology can serve in a positive way buy can also destroy young minds. Some of the deficiencies in learning are attributed to over exposure or exposure at a very young age to television. Who’s watching? Who’s monitoring? The popular movie, “Home Alone” is about a little boy that got left behind while his parents went on a European vacation. The little boy was left behind unintentionally. Countless children are left behind intentionally. “The dog can watch them.” “We’ll only be gone a few minutes.” “They can watch TV until we get back.” Unfortunately the move “Home Alone” is a reality in too many families.
Separated families, single parent families, blended families. Our definition of what a family is has evolved. Even in the old days, there was never a family without its share of problems. The challenge today is to know what love is. Many confuse love with something else. The result is a short-lived relationship. Nobody should stay in a relationship that is abusive, oppressive, and not life-giving.
Acknowledging that folks make mistakes, Our Holy Mother Church reaches out, especially to those who are hurting with the healing Sacraments—like Reconciliation—like granting an annulment of a union that was never a marriage. The Church is always inclusive, not exclusive. Contrary to Grandmother’s opinion, the doors are always open because the Church is our family. Once baptized, we’ve got our foot in the door. We have the right to be a Roman Catholic, unworthy as we are because we are a family of sinners. If we see ourselves as a sinner—don’t worry, we blend in. If we wait around until we get our act together, then we will never be free. The worthy game is a game we cannot win because the devil has the list of our sins. He puts the list in front of our face every time we want to do something good. Don’t listen. He’s a liar, from the beginning. The Lord never accuses us, He acquits us of our sins. We know that we are guilty. Jesus has paid the price. All we have to do is accept the freedom of forgiveness, which by the way is the main ingredient in any family. We are all here because we have been forgiven, not because we deserve to be loved. Isn’t that the way love is? Does love ever have an explanation? God has always loved us, even before we were born.
This is the place we can call home. No strings attached other than having to put up with each other. Certainly God gives us the grace to be His Holy Family.