During the time of Jesus, it was the custom for faithful Jews to make pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the celebration of the Passover. Nazareth, the home of the Holy Family, was approximately 60 miles away but the hilly topography added another 26 miles to the trip. Pilgrimages consisted of two groups – one comprised of men and the other of women. Children could travel with either. That is why it was not until evening that Mary and Joseph discovered Jesus was missing.
For Reflection: Read Luke 2: 43-52. Imagine the panic Mary and Joseph must have felt when they discovered Jesus was missing and how it mounted as they searched for Him for three days. How does Mary’s interaction with Jesus at verse 48 show her concern? What word does she use to describe it? C. S. Lewis says that “Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has accepted, in spite of your changing moods.” How does this quote apply to Our Lady at this moment? How does she demonstrate faith in spite of lack of understanding?