"And the light of my eyes itself is not with me" (Ps 37:11)
Mary's sorrow at the loss of her son in the temple was made worse by not knowing the why of his loss. She was not informed as to the cause nor the purpose of her son's actions. According to Lanspergius: "Our Sorrowful Mother was grief stricken by the loss of Jesus because in her humility she regarded it as a sign that she was no longer worthy to remain with him or attend him on earth, or to be in charge of such a treasure." Perhaps she thought herself guilty of some negligence or fault that caused Jesus to leave her. "They looked for him," says Origen, "fearing he might have left them for good."
According to St. Alphonsus Ligouri, it was for fear of having offended Jesus that Mary complained to him, "Son, why have you done so to us? Your father and I have sought you sorrowing" (Lk 2:48). She certainly was not scolding him, whom she knew to be God, she was merely expressing her grief, not a rebuke, but rather a loving complaint.
This sorrow of Mary can serve for us as a consolation in times of pain and desolation. We may weep and suffer, but with confidence, with Mary as our example. Do not be afraid that you have lost divine grace during times of dryness and spiritual darkness when you are not aware of mortal sin. We can be encouraged and assured by the words of St. Teresa of Avila: "no one is lost without knowing it, and no one is deceived without wishing to be deceived." If His Majesty withdraws from us it is for the purpose of increasing our seeking, in essence to purify our desire.
If we desire to find Jesus, we would do well to search for him as Mary did. She searched for him amidst pain and tribulation, crosses and mortifications...not amidst comforts and worldliness. "We sought you sorrowing," Mary said to Jesus. "Learn then from Mary," says Origen, "how to search for Jesus."
Mary, so you sigh after Jesus, you who love no one but Jesus? Leave sighs to me, and to so many sinners who do not love him, or have lost him by offending him. Most loving Mother, if it is my fault that your son has not yet returned to my soul, obtain for me the grace of finding him. I know well that those who seek him find him. The Lord is good to the soul that seeks him. Help me to search for him as I should. You are the gate through which all find Jesus. I too hope to find him through you. Amen+
(Source: The Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsus de Ligouri)