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Date:	6/11/99 3:59:22 AM Pacific Daylight Time
From:	mtuazon@ix.netcom.com (Manuel Tuazon)
Reply-to:	early-word-request@cin.org
To:	early-word@cin.org

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

For: Wednesday, June 9, 1999

Memorial: The Immaculate Heart of Mary

From: Luke 2:41-51

The Finding in the Temple
[41] Now his (Jesus') parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast 
of the Passover. [42] And when he was twelve years old, they went up 
according to custom; [43] and when the feast was ended, as they were 
returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did 
not know it, [44 but supposing him to be in the company they went a 
day's journey, and they sought him among their kinsfolk and 
acquaintances; [45] and when they did not find him, they returned to 
Jerusalem, seeking him. [46] And after three days they found him in the 
temple sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them 
questions; [47] and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding 
and his answers. [48] And when they saw him they were astonished; and 
his mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your 
father and I have been looking for you anxiously." [49] And he said to 
them, "How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in 
my Father's house?" [50] And they did not understand the saying which 
he spoke to them.

The Hidden Life of Jesus at Nazareth
[51] And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient 
to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.


41. Only St Luke (2:41-50) reports the event of the Child Jesus being 
lost and then found in the temple, which we contemplate in the "Fifth 
Joyful Mystery" of the Rosary.

Only males aged twelve and upwards were required to make this journey. 
Nazareth is about 100 km (60 miles) from Jerusalem as the crow flies, 
but the hilly nature of the country would have made it a trip of 140 

43-44. On pilgrimages to Jerusalem, the Jews used to go in two 
groups--one of men, the other of women. Children could go with either 
group. This explains how they could go a day's journey before they 
discovered the Child was missing when the families regrouped to camp.

"Mary is crying. In vain you and I have run from group to group, from 
caravan to caravan. No one has seen him. Joseph, after fruitless 
attempts to keep from crying, cries too.... And you.... And I.

'Being a common little fellow, I cry my eyes out and wail to heaven and 
earth..., to make up for the times when I lost him through my own fault 
and did not cry" (J. Escriva, "Holy Rosary", Fifth Joyful Mystery).

45. The concern which Mary and Joseph show in looking for the Child 
should encourage us always to seek Jesus out, particularly if we lose 
him through sin.

"Jesus, may I never lose you again.... Now you and I are united in 
misfortune and grief, as were united in sin. And from the depths of our 
being comes sighs of heartfelt sorrow and burning phrases which the pen 
cannot and should not record" ("Holy Rosary", Fifth Joyful Mystery).

46-47. The Child Jesus must have been in the courtyard of the temple, 
which was where the teachers usually taught. Listeners used to sit at 
their feet, now  and again asking questions and responding to them. 
This was what Jesus did, but his questions and answers attracted the 
teachers' attention, he was so wise and well-informed.

48. Ever since the Annunciation our Lady had known that the Child Jesus 
was God. This faith was the basis of her generous fidelity throughout 
her life--but there was no reason why it should include detailed 
knowledge of all the sacrifices God would ask of her, nor of how Christ 
would go about his mission of redemption: that was something she would 
discover as time went by, contemplating her Son's life.

49. Christ's reply is a form of explanation. His words--his first words 
to be recorded in the Gospel--clearly show his down Sonship; and they 
also show his determination to fulfill the will of his Eternal Father. 
"He does not upbraid them--Mary and Joseph--for searching for their 
son, but he raises the eyes of their souls to appreciate what he owes 
him whose Eternal Son he is" (St Bede, "In Lucae Evangelium Expositio, 
in loc."). Jesus teaches us that over and above any human authority, 
even that of our parents, there is the primary duty to do the will of 
God. "And once we are consoled by the joy of finding Jesus--three days 
he was gone!--debating with the teachers of Israel (Lk 2:46), you and I 
shall be left deeply impressed by the duty to leave our home and family 
to serve our heavenly Father" (J. Escriva, "Holy Rosary", Fifth Joyful 
Mystery"). See note on Mt 10:34-37.

50. We must remember that Jesus knew in detail the whole course his 
earthly life would take from his conception onwards (cf. note on Lk 
2:52). This is shown by what he says in reply to his parents. Mary and 
Joseph realized that his reply contained a deeper meaning which they 
did not grasp. They grew to understand it as the life of their Child 
unfolded. Mary's and Joseph's faith and their reverence towards the 
Child led them not to ask any further questions but to reflect on 
Jesus' words and behavior in this instance, as they had done so on 
other occasions.

51. The Gospel sums up Jesus' life in Nazareth in just three words: 
"erat subditus illis", he was obedient to them. "Jesus obeys, and he 
obeys Joseph and Mary. God has come to the world to obey, and to obey 
creatures. Admittedly they were very perfect creatures--Holy Mary, our 
mother, greater than whom God alone; and that most chaste man Joseph. 
But they are only creatures, and yet Jesus, who is God, obeyed them. We 
have to love God so as to love his will and desire to respond to his 
calls. They come to us through the duties of our ordinary life--duties 
of state, profession, work, family, social life, our own and other 
people's difficulties, friendship, eagerness to do what is right and 
just" (J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 17).

Jesus lived like any other inhabitant of Nazareth, working at the same 
trade as St Joseph and earning his living by the sweat of his brow. 
"His hidden years are not without significance, nor were they simply a 
preparation for the years which were to come after--those of his public 
life. Since 1928 I have understood clearly that God wants our Lord's 
whole life to be an example for Christians. I saw this with special 
reference to his hidden life, the years he spent working side by side 
with ordinary men. Our Lord wants many people to ratify their vocation 
during years of quiet, unspectacular living. Obeying God's will always 
means leaving our selfishness behind, but there is no reason why it 
should entail cutting ourselves off from the normal life of ordinary 
people who share the same status, work and social position with us.

"I dream--and the dream has come true--of multitudes of God's children, 
sanctifying themselves as ordinary citizens, sharing the ambitions and 
endeavors of their colleagues and friends. I want to shout to them 
about this divine truth: If you are there in the middle of ordinary 
life, it doesn't mean Christ has forgotten about you or hasn't called 
you. He has invited you to stay among the activities and concerns of 
the world. He wants you to know that your human vocation, your 
profession, your talents, are not omitted from his divine plans. He has 
sanctified them and made them a most acceptable offering to his Father" 
(J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 20).

Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries".  Biblical text
taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate.  Commentaries
made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of
Navarre, Spain.  Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock,
Co. Dublin, Ireland.  Printed in Hungary.
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