Epiphany I – Sunday


LESSON: LUKE 2:41-52

When they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, you father and I have been looking for you anxiously.” Luke 2:48

Although the holy mother Mary who was blessed (Luke 1:42) and highly-favored with all kinds of grace (Luke 1:28) without a doubt found the greatest of happiness and joy in her child, the Lord still governed her in such a way that she should not have her paradise in Him and reserve it for her future life, as He does also in the case of others. And so on earth she also had to suffer her share of misfortune, pain, and sorrow.

The first distress that came upon her was that she had to give birth at Bethlehem, a strange place, in which there was no room for herself and her child except in a stable. Soon after this, when the time of her purification was past (Luke 2:22), she had to flee with her child into a foreign country, into Egypt, a small comfort for her under the circumstances. She probably experienced many blows of the same kind which have not been recorded.

Here, too, the Lord laid a similar misfortune upon her when her Son stole off into the temple and she had to search for Him for so long without finding Him. This gave her a terrible shock and grieved her so much that she exclaimed: “Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.” We can well imagine that her heart was ready to admit, “The child is mine alone, as I well know. God gave Him to me with instructions that I should look after Him. How has it come to pass that I have lost Him? It is my fault for failing to look after Him well enough.”

AE 76,193-194

PRAYER: O Lord, you have clearly told us in your Word that you chasten all whom you love for the betterment and well-being. You did not even spare your handmaiden, Mary. Let us not despair when your chastening comes upon us, but open the eyes of our faith so that we may also readily see “the way of escape” [1 Corinthians 10:13] that we may be able to bear it. Amen