Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Fifth Joyful Mystery ~ Finding the Young Jesus in the Temple


This scene of Mary and Joseph finding the twelve year old Jesus in the Jerusalem temple is very beautiful on a number of levels. These men arranged on Jesus left and right are Israel's teachers and scholars. They seem to be listening to Jesus. But the gospel is clear, Jesus is asking them questions. Jesus always asks questions throughout the gospel. Questions draw us out and cause us to reflect. Jesus is quite animated; maybe he's asking them something about God they have never considered before.

To the left of the image we see Joseph and Mary. Joseph looks kind of tight. Perhaps he's just tired after searching for three days and is annoyed that Jesus doesn't seem to be giving a thought to what they've been through. But Mary is reaching out, slightly inclined and softer. Perhaps she is aware that this loss of three days portends something else; something even more dreadful.

It's good to pause a little while before the image - allowing Jesus, if he so desires, to ask me a question or two. Not questions about what I've done wrong, but questions that come from a place of deep concern for my welfare and the things that are on my mind.

I can read the account of Mary and Joseph finding the young Jesus in Luke 2:41-52.



Our Father, Who art in heaven...

To live on this planet is sometimes to lose. I can lose sleep, lose a friend, lose an opportunity, lose sobriety, lose virginity, lose a loved one to death, lose the house, lose my health. I can feel as if I'm losing my mind. Pity the person, pity the world...no, pity me, when I lose Jesus.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

How human this scene is. Mary and Joseph have been looking frantically for Jesus over three days. But in joy they find him again. And I can find him again too. Actually he has been looking for me all the while. I must simply pick up my head and see!

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Sometimes Jesus may withdraw from my soul a bit, but never in anger. He wants that I will search for him diligently, so that my love for him will grow.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

When Mary and Joseph found Jesus in the temple, Jesus said, Didn't you know I had to be about my Father's business? I want to be obedient as God's child too. I will do what God proposes; to be faithful to God, to love him, to grow well.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Jesus isn't teaching in the temple, he's listening to the teachers and asking them questions. Humility means I know I have a lot to learn. I open my ears; I open my heart. I will follow the young Jesus in this humble proposal.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Here in this scene, Jesus is twelve years old. I was twelve once. And in his love, God has brought me to today. And furthermore, God wants to bring me to fullness, restored dignity, maturity and holiness.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Jesus returned to Nazareth with Mary and Joseph. What would it have been like to live with this Holy Family? I will be still now for a moment and consider what message they would have for me today.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

In all the stories of Mary's pregnancy and Jesus' infancy, there's a lot of traveling, by foot or by donkey. And Jesus will travel to Jerusalem at the end and ride a donkey into the ancient city as the conflict with death, sin and fear culminates on the cross.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

People often ask, Did the young Jesus know that he was God? Maybe more importantly we should all ask of ourselves, Do I know that I am God's child? And am I living as God's child?

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Looking for a lost twelve year old in a big city: it is a scene for tears. Mary and Joseph are frantic and sorrowful. Have I ever shed a tear for the times I lost Jesus through my own fault? Or shed tears for our world and its terrible losses?

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Glory be to the Father...


Our Lady's Slippers



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