Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the
feast of 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
Introductory Prayer: Dearest Mother Mary, Christ
your Son learned to love from your loving example. Teach
me to love in the same way. Instruct me in
the way of your virtues. Help me to make use
of every opportunity to grow in them. Never let me
avoid the opportunities life gives me to love and form
myself in virtue. I always want to love the way
Petition: Mary, my Mother, help
me be your faithful child. Bring me to your son.
1. Not Everything is Clear: Mary has
a mother’s heart that wants to love the loves of
her Son. For Mary the road was not always clear.
There would be many trials and difficulties. Nevertheless, Mary is
resolved to follow her Son. She wants to follow him,
understanding the mission. She cares for him in every way
– even spiritually. There were many surprises in store for
her as Christ matured and prepared for his mission. She
never expected this one, losing her son for three days,
at such an early age. Her son desired to be
in his Father’s house and prepare his work. He loved
being there and was preparing for the day when he
would go out and actively do the work he had
been sent for. Mary too was preparing for that day
and Christ helped her get ready.
She Stored All These Things Up in Her Heart: It
was hard for Mary to understand the full meaning of
this moment. Being a woman of prayer and contemplation she
stored all these things up in her heart where she
could recall them, reflect on them and compare them to
other moments of her mission. What did all this mean?
What did it point to? God’s plan would only reveal
itself with time and Mary would be ready for it.
It was not so much understanding that she needed but
rather acceptance and fidelity to complete it. Mary had a
contemplative heart that sought to unite itself and identify itself
to the mission of her Son. She knew that she
had a part to play in that mission and that
she would need to prepare herself for it through prayer.
3. Take Mary’s Hand: We will never
understand what our life is for unless we pray and
contemplate like Mary did. It takes time, patience and a
great deal of simplicity and trust. “Blessed is she that
believed that the promises made to her would be fulfilled!”
exclaims her cousin Elizabeth after the annunciation by the angel
Gabriel. We are blessed when we can believe. It may
take a long time to see the fulfillment of God’s
designs in our lives too. We need to be like
Mary and follow through by faithfully following the path that
is marked out for us. It can be a path
that is not clear. We don’t need to know all
of what lies ahead – just where we need to
walk. Mary wholeheartedly identified with her Son’s mission. She invites
us to identify with it too. She will not fail
to take you by the hand and lead you along
that unclear, difficult and unknown path.
with Christ: Lord Jesus Christ, when you had already given
us everything – your life, your love, your Eucharist –
from the cross you gave us the gift of your
Mother. I thank you for this great gift. I want
to be her faithful child. I want to imitate all
her virtues, especially her faithfulness to you up to and
beyond the moment of the cross. Grant me the grace
to accompany both you and your mother at the foot
of the cross. I want to follow you closely and
perfectly as Mary did. I want to belong only to
you and do only your will.
I will ask Mary to shape all Christian virtues in
me by my daily prayer to her in the Rosary.
I will also make a special visit to her at
one of her statues or images this week.