Word of the day

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Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Reading of the day

From the book of the prophet Isaiah
Is 61:9-11

Thus says the LORD:
The descendants of my people shall be renowned among the nations,
and their offspring among the peoples;
All who see them shall acknowledge them
as a race the LORD has blessed.

I rejoice heartily in the LORD,
in my God is the joy of my soul;
For he has clothed me with a robe of salvation,
and wrapped me in a mantle of justice,
Like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem,
like a bride bedecked with her jewels.
As the earth brings forth its plants,
and a garden makes its growth spring up,
So will the Lord GOD make justice and praise
spring up before all the nations.

Gospel of the day

From the Gospel according to Luke
Lk 2,41-51

Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover,
and when he was twelve years old,
they went up according to festival custom.
After they had completed its days, as they were returning,
the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem,
but his parents did not know it.
Thinking that he was in the caravan,
they journeyed for a day
and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances,
but not finding him,
they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.
After three days they found him in the temple,
sitting in the midst of the teachers,
listening to them and asking them questions,
and all who heard him were astounded
at his understanding and his answers.
When his parents saw him,
they were astonished,
and his mother said to him,
“Son, why have you done this to us?
Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”
And he said to them,
“Why were you looking for me?
Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
But they did not understand what he said to them.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth,
and was obedient to them;
and his mother kept all these things in her heart.

Words of the Holy Father

In the family of Nazareth astonishment never waned, not even in a dramatic moment such as Jesus being lost: it is the ability to be astonished before the gradual manifestation of the Son of God. It is the same astonishment that even strikes the teachers of the temple, “amazed at his understanding and his answers” (v. 47). But what is astonishment; what is it to be astonished? Being astonished and being amazed is the opposite of taking everything for granted; it is the opposite of interpreting the reality that surrounds us and historical events according to our criteria alone. (…) The second element that I would like to grasp from the Gospel is the anxiety that Mary and Joseph felt when they could not find Jesus. This anxiety reveals Jesus’ centrality in the Holy Family. The Virgin and her husband welcomed that Son, protected him and watched him grow in age, wisdom and grace in their midst, but above all he grew in their hearts; and, little by little, their affection for him and their understanding of him grew. (…) That anxiety that they experienced in the three days that Jesus was missing should also be our anxiety when we are distant from him, when we are distant from Jesus. (…) Mary and Joseph searched for him and found him in the temple while he was teaching: for us too, it is especially in the house of God that we are able to encounter the divine Teacher and receive his message of salvation. (Angelus, 30 December 2018)