Anyone who is a parent can identify readily with Mary's suffering as she sought sorrowing her only child. Imagine also, St. Joseph, the head and protector of the holy family, his heart heavily laden with sorrow as he wondered why Jesus had left them. Have we done something wrong? Have we offended Jesus is some way? Why has He left us? Is it already His time? Joseph and Mary are exceedinly holy people, yet did they suffer such doubts?
When my youngest child was 4, I had all my children at the grocery store with me. My routine involved requiring the younger ones to have one hand on the cart at all times as we walked through the store. The little guy was fine, holding onto the cart and jabbering about something when I stepped only a few feet away to grab something out of the dairy section. I turned, came back to my cart and he was gone. His sisters were right there - "Where did your brother go?" They had no idea....
About 4 minutes later I found him at the opposite end of the store, looking lost and crying. He had panicked and ran. I'll never forget the thoughts that went through my mind as I searched for him. Did someone take him? Will they hurt him? Will I ever see him again? How could I have taken my eyes off him? How will I ever live without him?
Upon finding him, I remember kneeling down and wrapping my arms around him. I then grabbed his shoulders and through my tears and sobs saying "Never, never do this to me again! I thought I'd never see you again! Mommy was so worried about you!"
I am a sinner, a regular old person who feels alarm with a hardened heart that knows sin and concupiscence. Our Lady who never sinned, pure and immaculate, must have felt pain that was unimaginable to you or I. Let us go with her, compassionate her sorrows as she searches for her son. Amen+