Today, we are given to contemplate, as a continuation of the Mystery of Incarnation, God's Son's insertion into the human community par excellence; the family, and Jesus' progressive education by Joseph and Mary. As the Gospel says, «and Jesus increased in wisdom and age, and in divine and human favor» (Lk 2:52).
The book Jesus, son of Sirach, reminds us that «the Lord sets a father in honor over his children; a mother's authority he confirms over her sons» (Sir 3:2). Jesus is twelve years old and He already shows the good education He has received at His Nazarene home. His wisdom no doubt reflects the Holy Spirit's action, but also Joseph and Mary's undeniably good educational know-how. Mary and Joseph's affliction and anxiety attest to their educative solicitude and their loving concern for Jesus.
We need not make great efforts to see that today, more than ever before, it is necessary for the family to strongly assume the teaching mission God has entrusted to it. To educate is to introduce to reality, and only parents who live this reality with a meaning can accomplish this. Christian parents must educate through Christ, source of all significance and wisdom.
It is very difficult to remedy shortcomings in home education. What is not learned at home can only be learned with great difficulty elsewhere. The virtues Joseph and Mary constantly practiced at their Nazarene home were lived and learned by Jesus naturally; spirit of service to God and men, piety, love for work well done, caring for one another, respect, horror of sin... To grow up as Christians, children need examples and, if these are given by their parents, these children will be very fortunate.
Today, we must all go and look for Christ's wisdom to bring it to our families. Origen, an early Church Father, when commenting on today's Gospel, said that whoever is looking for Christ, must not seek Him in a negligent and careless way, as those who do not succeed in finding Him, do. We must look for Him with “anxiety”, with great solicitude, as Joseph and Mary did.