Joy of Mary: Finding of Jesus in the Temple
“Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
By Patrick Kelly
“After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers,
listening to them and asking them questions.” ~ Luke 2:46
In Saint Luke’s Gospel, we hear the story of finding the boy Jesus in the temple and we are given a glimpse of Jesus’s upbringing. We learn that Jesus has been separated from Mary and Joseph while they were traveling from Jerusalem after Passover. Eventually, the child Jesus is found still in the temple. Mary understandably seems distressed as she asks Jesus “why have you done this to us?” Jesus replies “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”(Luke 2: 48-49) Mary surely was relieved when she and Joseph found Jesus, but probably were not comforted by Jesus’ reply to her question. This response reveals for us that Jesus is sent by the Father and is totally consecrated to his mission (CCC 534). Saint Luke continues by saying that Mary and Joseph were confused by Jesus’ response; however, Mary, ever the perfect example of fidelity to God’s will, accepts this response and “kept all these things in her heart.”(Luke 2: 51) With Mary, we see how sorrow and joy often comingle or coexist in a situation. When we imitate Mary and submit ourselves to God’s will and unite our suffering to that of Christ’s on the cross, we are met with the hope of the resurrection.
Sorrow of Mary: The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple
“Why were you looking for me?”
By Gretchen Erlichman
“Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” ~ Luke 2:49
Jesus and Mary are traveling in a caravan with their friends and relatives. They are headed back to Nazareth after celebrating the Passover in Jerusalem. It was such a joyous and solemn feast, not to mention that it was wonderful to see family and acquaintances that they hadn’t seen since their last visit to Jerusalem. Their hearts are so full of thanksgiving to God for His goodness. Yet, Mary has begun to feel an indescribable heaviness in her heart. She and her husband have been traveling for the past day and they figured that Jesus was playing with His cousins at the back of the caravan, but He is nowhere to be found. They must go back; they must go back and look for Jesus in Jerusalem.
It is a day’s journey back to the city, and Mary can feel the absence of her Son in her heart; her little Child, her Son, all alone in the vast city of Jerusalem. Where could He be? Is He hungry? Did He find somewhere to sleep last night? Is He safe? …All of these thoughts and anxieties are the sentiments of a mother’s heart. It is these human feelings that may have caused Mary’s heart to be anxious and troubled, but it was the supernatural life of grace within her soul that led her to trust in the Lord, despite the circumstances. Free from sin from the moment of her Immaculate Conception, the Blessed Mother never faltered in her trust of the Almighty.
These anxieties that Mary felt in her heart may be similar to the troubles we sense in our own hearts when we feel that God is far from us or that He has abandoned us. Yet, when Mary felt sadness in her heart because of losing Jesus in the temple of Jerusalem, He calms her motherly fears by saying: “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49) It is just that; in the moments when we feel that we have lost the presence of the Lord in our souls, it is often the case that He is closest to us, dwelling within us as the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, doing His Father’s work in our hearts. When Mary realized that Jesus was nowhere to be found, she went searching for Him with trust that she would find Him. And upon seeing Him teaching in the temple, she realized that He wasn’t lost at all, He was exactly where He needed to be to do His work of saving souls. Likewise, Christ is never lost to us; maybe we just need to search deeper in our souls to see the work that He is doing within us to bring our souls to salvation. When He seems distant, He may be working within us to prepare our place at the heavenly banquet. At the Last Supper Christ tells us: “…if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. (John 14:3) Indeed, He wants to be with us and He wants us to be with Him! He remains with us always, present in the Blessed Sacrament in tabernacles and on altars throughout the world, and He dwells within us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. He speaks to our hearts: “…behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20)
About the Series:
These past few months have surely been filled with many unexpected difficulties and challenges, yet there were probably also many little blessings and surprising gifts as well…maybe even ones that were hard to see at first. Human life is full of joys and sorrows; so too was the beautiful life of the Blessed Mother, who was entirely conformed to the will of God from the moment of her conception. The joys and sorrows of her life form the jewels of her heavenly crown and, at this very moment, she sits beside her Son on the throne of Heaven and intercedes for us.
Now, more than ever, we are called to unite our happiness and our suffering to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In doing so, she gently leads us to the merciful Heart of Our Lord and the ineffable love of the Trinity. Please join us this summer as we contemplate the joys and sorrows of the heart of Mary in our series, The Coronation of Love; The Joys and Sorrows of Mary. Each week, we will explore a paired joy and sorrow of Mary which will help us to further unite our pondering hearts to that of the Blessed Virgin. We look forward to praying through these mysteries of our faith with you. God bless!
In the Peace and Love of Christ,
Gretchen, Thomas, Victoria & Patrick
Hi! My name is Gretchen Erlichman, and I am an aspirant with the Dominican Nuns of the Monastery of Our Lady of Grace in North Guilford, Connecticut. I am a native of upstate New York, but I am currently residing in Silver Spring, Maryland. I am in my second 6-month fundraising period with the Labouré Society, in which I hope to mitigate my student loans and enter into religious formation. Watch My Video Read My Story Donate Contact
Hi! My name is Patrick Kelly, and I am an aspirant with the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph (Eastern Province). I grew up and live in Virginia. I am in my second 6-month fundraising period with the Laboure Society. I am hoping to mitigate my student loan debt in time to enter the Novitiate next summer.
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Hi! My name is Victoria Clarizio and I am an aspirant with the Passionist Nuns of the Monastery of Our Lady of Sorrows in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I am from Connecticut and live there currently. As an aspirant with the Laboure Society, I hope to remove the obstacle of student debt so that my classmates and I can enter formation.
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Hi my name is Thomas Conroy, and I am an aspirant with the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph (Eastern Province). I was born and mostly raised in Northern Virginia. I graduated from Mount St. Mary’s University in 2019. I am in my second 6 month fundraising period with the Labouré Society. I am hoping to have my student debt mitigated and enter formation next summer. Video Story Donate Contact