His sorrow when he lost the Child Jesus;
his joy in finding him in the temple.
O glorious Saint Joseph,
pattern of all holiness,
when you lost the child Jesus,
you sought him sorrowing
for the space of three days,
until with great joy you found him again
in the temple,
sitting in the midst of the doctors.
By this sorrow and this joy,
we ask you, with our hearts upon our lips,
to keep us from ever having the misfortune
of losing Jesus through mortal sin.
Grant also that we always may seek him
with unceasing sorrow,
when we commit a serious sin,
until we find him again,
ready to show us his great mercy
in the sacrament of Reconciliation.
Reading Lk 2:41-50
Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom; and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but, supposing him to be in the company, they went a day's journey, and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances; and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him. After three days they found him in the Temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. And when they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously."
And he said to them, "How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" And they did not understand the saying which he spoke to them.
"Joseph, of whom Mary had just used the words ‘your father,' heard this answer. That, after all, is what all the people said and thought: Jesus was ‘the son (as was supposed) of Joseph' (Lk 3:23). Nonetheless, the reply of Jesus in the Temple brought once again to the mind of his ‘presumed father' what he had heard on that night twelve years earlier:
‘Joseph . . . do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.' From that time onwards he knew that he was a guardian of the mystery of God, and it was precisely this mystery that the twelve-year-old Jesus brought to mind: ‘I must be in my Father's house.'"17
Here the Litany of St. Joseph (p. 543 f.) may be prayed, as a conclusion. Or the following prayer may be said.
V. Pray for us, blessed Joseph,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.
in your infinite wisdom and love
you chose Joseph to be the husband of Mary,
the mother of your Son.
As we enjoy his protection on earth,
may we have the help of his prayers in heaven.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
17. GR, 15.