When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it…Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends.
Of course Jesus wasn’t really lost. Only momentarily missing from his parents!
In three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.
When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you."
"Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?"
How did it happen that Jesus was temporarily lost to them? Maybe Mary thought He was with Joseph and the men. Perhaps Joseph thought He was with Mary. We’re not sure.
What we know is they weren’t paying attention to Jesus. And so it happens today. We let Jesus get out of our sight.
It isn’t intentional. We just get otherwise occupied. Jesus gets lost!
Not that Jesus is ever really lost. As in this story, He is always in the Father’s House and about the Father’s business. It is we who are lost to Him.
If this can happen to Mary, something like this can happen to us. And if it does, like Mary, we can recognize we aren't paying attention to Jesus and retrace our steps.