The Church today, to help us in honoring Mary’s motherly heart, gives us the story of Mary, Joseph and Jesus going up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. Jesus, just turning twelve, was considered adult enough to take a man’s part in the feast.
As a male I can’t come to know Mary’s heart as she felt the eyes of all on her son. I wonder if she tried to hide her pride?
We know that in later years Jesus and his apostles rented a large room for celebrating the Passover, so it is likely that Joseph joined relatives from Nazareth in renting a room for that Passover.
At the Passover feast I picture Jesus as being the boy deputized to ask the host the meaning and the history of the Passover. I wonder to what extent his questioning was just part of the ritual, and what part of it was earnest with him. I love those passages in the Letter to the Hebrews that speak of how human Jesus was. Chapter Four says, “He was tested in every way.” And Chapter Five says, “Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation.”
When their friends and neighbors packed up for the journey back to Nazareth, we imagine that Joseph assured Mary Jesus was alright walking with other young people. (How many things does a young mother have to worry about, even with the best of sons?)
In looking into the heart of Mary we next join her in her frantic concern for her lost son. We accompany her on the walk back to Jerusalem, with her we look to east and west, into every shelter and by-way.
We can’t guess at her astonishment on coming on her dear son as the center of attention for Jerusalem’s great scholars. It changed her thinking about everything. What could she do? The Bible tells us, “His mother kept all the things in her heart.”