Gospel: Luke 2:41-52
"Each year Jesus' parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover, 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. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man".
Today as we prepare for the Sunday gospel, we are going to follow a different manner of lectio. I will unpack it a little differently. You know the steps- recall them: Lectio-read prayerfully, Meditacio-chew on it and use your mind, heart, senses, memory, imagination, Oracio-talk with Him, heart to heart, follow His lead where He takes you, Contemplacio- BE with Jesus and listen to Him and love Him and allow Him to love you and speak to your heart, Actio-act on when He says.
POINTS TO PONDER
- "Each year Jesus parents went to Jerusalem". Religious tradition was valued, respected and adhered to in the home of Joseph and Mary -What about me? How do I uphold the traditions of my faith? Do they have a place in my heart, my home? Am I faithful?
- "Thinking that He was in the caravan they journeyed for a day". Often others comment about this point; how could Mary and Joseph not known Jesus was not with them, but, this caravan was a customary manner of travel. An interesting point maybe instead might be, to ponder the "person" of Jesus. A very quiet child a parent might keep their eye to make sure they are not forgotten, neglected or left behind, because its happened before, but a very lively child an active social child with friends, a parent knows is going to be "a part of all the action". He won't be left behind, he is with others, as he usually is and they are enjoying everything- Jesus must have been lively and full of joy- active maybe common for him to be with others playing for several hours. We often think of Jesus as an infant babe, or as a young man with disciples, but we can forget he was a boy too! a pre-teen full of life and as He is "LOVE" he must have been the most incredible presence of LOVE to be with, totally open and selfless.
- "They returned to Jerusalem to look for him". Anguish, anxiety, angst, bewilderment, urgency, fear, pain of heart, hoping against hope. These are a few of the emotions that cross my heart when I stay with Mary here, with her, in her pain. All of these same feelings and emotions happen when we loose our awareness of the presence of our Lord in our life-ponder this in your life, is this happening in my life now? (Look back to the Lectio-Way of Peace) go through some of the points on what made me loose peace, loose my awareness of God's presence)
- "After three days they found him". Can you imagine that moment? The Joy, the relief, the JOY! And he looks fine! talking with all of these grown men in the temple, that must have been an interesting sight when they walked in. The mixture of overwhelming joy and relief and tears- what does this bring to mind?
- "Son, why have you done this to us, your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety" Notice the respect and delicacy of love -the dignity of Mary in this situation and the love and respect of Mary towards Joseph, honoring his feelings and emotions before hers, and the question she asks and rightfully-why did you do this to us. How many times have we all asked this question of Jesus..."Why Jesus, why did you allow this, why did you permit this, why do you allow me to go through all of this anxiety, why? The questioning heart of Mary gets an answer, and what is the answer? two questions in answer to hers; "Why were you looking for me? "Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" The points maybe one could ponder here would be listening to those questions said to you personally. Hear them addressed to you: "Why were you looking for me? Now spend time here with Jesus and answer Him and listen to what He says. "Did you not know_________?"
- "Mary kept all these things in her heart" To imitate Mary here is to learn how to carry prayerfully the mysteries in our life, with love and reverence and patience (the virtue of being willing to suffer the moment). We all have "mysteries" the "whys with no answers yet". Mary knows that pain too. But she did not push away from loving Jesus, she carries the mystery of His ways, His will, His Words, waiting for the moment in time where it all makes sense.
- "He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was obedient to them". He humbled himself, He- God, obeyed man. He "went down-came down with them". That draws in my mind this image: The Eucharistic Sacrifice; where the priest (a human being-a man) "through the power of the Holy Spirit, "draws God down" to earth.
There are many points to ponder and maybe the Lord will speak to your heart on none of the above, it might be something totally different in the Gospel. Beautiful-follow Him where He takes you and be with Him.
Closing Prayer: "Child of Joseph, Child of Joseph teach me the wonder of your ways, Child of Joseph teach my mind to ponder, in the mystery of your Will, How I may learn your ways, for all my length of days" (Missionary of Charity Hymnal)