“Did you not know that I needed to be in my Father’s house?”
Young Jesus Emerges–Joyful Mystery #5 of the Rosary
For Parents to Teach to Their Children
Mary and Joseph realize that Jesus, age twelve, is not in the caravan that left Jerusalem to return to Nazareth after the the Festival of Passover services (“Pesach” in Hebrew). It has been a day and they think he has been playing with his friends. Can you imagine what you would feel if your child was missing…and for a day! The times were very different. To travel from Nazareth to Jerusalem could take several days walking through rough and difficult terrain. People traveled together for safety and support of one and other. Children were watched over by friends and family members.
Mary and Joseph leave the caravan and return to Jerusalem to find Jesus. On the third day of looking, they go to the Temple and find Jesus, a young boy, teaching the learned rabbis and elders! How astonished they must have been, and also how proud. Like any other mother, Mary tells Jesus, “We have been so worried about you.” Jesus relies, “Did you not know that I needed to be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:41-52) Jesus returns to Nazareth with Mary and Joseph and continues to grow with their care and love. “And Jesus advanced [in] wisdom and age and favor before God and man.”
A Question for Children: Who was Jesus referring to when he said, “…my Father’s house?”
Another Version of the Fifth Joyful Mystery
“Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”
Source: Rosary-Center.org The Finding of Jesus in the Temple “The Fifth Joyful Mystery”
“When Jesus is twelve years old, He goes with His parents to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover.
After the feast of the Passover, Joseph and Mary unknowingly set out for Nazareth without Jesus.
At the end of the first day’s journey they discover Jesus is missing.
His parents return immediately looking for Him.
This loss causes grief and anxiety beyond our understanding to the hearts of Mary and Joseph.
On the third day they find Jesus in the Temple among the Doctors who were astonished at His wisdom.
Mary: “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been searching for You in sorrow.”
Jesus: “Why did you search for Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”
Jesus goes down with them to Nazareth, and is subject to them.
Mary keeps all these things in her heart.”
A Reading for the Family “The Boy Jesus in the Temple.”
Luke, Chapter 2:41-52
“Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover,p
and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom.
After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it.
Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances,
but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.
After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions,
and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers.
When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”
And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”*
But they did not understand what he said to them.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.q
And Jesus advanced [in] wisdom and age and favor before God and man.r”
Source:USCCB.Org Luke, chapter 2
Note: The symbols, letters, and numbers are from the USCCB commentaries on the Bible passages.
Readings for Parents and Children
An Excerpt from Jesus of Nazareth The Story of His Life Written for Children by Mother Mary Loyola, 1907
This is from a literary work that the author, Mother Mary Loyola, created for children on the life of Jesus. It is beautifully written and “fills out” the life of Jesus and the lives of people he knew and encountered. It is fiction, in that the author couldn’t know what people thought or said, but it is based on the life of Jesus, through the Scriptures. It is thoroughly enjoyable and touching. Read it with your children to help them imagine the life and times of Jesus. Even though it was written more than 100 years ago, it is filled with Mother Mary Loyola’s love for Jesus and her knowledge of the Holy Scriptures.
From, “In the Temple Again” Page 89
“Now the Child Teacher is alone, and Mary and Joseph come up to Him.
‘Son, why hast thou done so to us? Behold thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing.’
At last her full heart finds vent. There has been no word of complaint to Joseph, but to Him who knows her pain and submission to His Will in all things, to Him who cannot misunderstand, she may say in loving complaint: ‘Why hast Thou done so to us?’ He looks up at her tear stained face and says tenderly:
‘How is it that you sought Me; did you not know that I must be about My father’s business?'”
Our Cut-Paper Art Project–Stylized Picture of Jesus Teaching the Elders in the Temple
Cutting, tearing, or punching out bits of paper to make a collage or picture is time consuming but exciting to do. I enjoy cutting and arranging shapes on watercolor paper, then gluing them down. For this project, I also used a hole puncher for making the heads to the people. The paper bits move a bit before they are glued, but I try to remember that there is no way to be perfect! So have fun and see what beautiful designs you can come up with. Young children can do greatly simplified versions of this story–cutting big strips, then smaller squares and rectangles to create the Temple. I used a triangle with the top cut off to indicate a robe. The robe, topped with a small circle made with a paper punch, was a simple way to make people. Jesus has yellow thin strips to indicate His holiness.
These art projects below would be great to do it with your family members, too. When they are done, the children can hang them in their room or stick them on the refrigerator.
Other Cut-Paper Art Projects
Suggested Homework Activities
Read a Catholic child’s Bible story of “Finding Jesus in the Temple.”
The Catholic Children’s Bible is an excellent resource for families.
The material below is from this Bible, pages 1582-1583 “Jesus Obeys His Parents”
Discuss the following with your child:
“What is a temple?” (“a building for prayer and bringing gifts to God.”)
“What does the word “treasured” mean?” (valued very highly
“What does the word “favor” mean?” (“approval and support.”)