The 5th Joyful Mystery: Finding the Child Jesus in the Temple
“While his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends…After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers…His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” Luke 2:43-48
Let this mystery teach us joy in finding Jesus.
I have to be honest, it really seems to me like Jesus got a pass here he shouldn’t have. He really didn’t think that by staying behind he’d scare the living daylights out of his parents? He didn’t think they’d mind him just disappearing? Worrying them that way was not a very thoughtful thing to do!
There’s Mary, worried out of her mind after searching for three days, and this is his response: “Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”
Well, no, actually, we didn’t know that! Why would we know that?!? You could have just said so before we left, instead of making us look for you for three days!!
Anybody else thinking they would have wanted to dish out some serious punishment if their sassy teenager had done this to them? (Who knows, maybe Mary and Joseph did!)
His boyhood thoughtlessness aside, there’s an important message in this mystery for the whole world: our worrying ceases when we find Jesus. Our hearts are anxiously searching for Him, and we are troubled and frightened until we find Him. There is joy in finding Jesus; there is worry and fear without Him. This is true for every soul that has ever lived whether they realize it or not. “Our hearts are restless, O Lord, until they rest in You.” St. Augustine
In every event of our day, in every encounter, every task, every challenge, every burden, every struggle, there will be joy once we find Jesus in it. We will be overcome with worry til we do. He is there with us in everything and He wants to be found. It only remains to be seen whether we will look for Him.
There are a hundred opportunities every day for me to look for Jesus in what I’m doing and what’s happening in my life. Too often, I simply don’t look. I’m too wrapped up in my own head, too caught up in a hectic schedule to stop and look. And so, I find stress and anxiety instead of joy. I find worry and fear instead of Jesus. Silly me.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 29:13-14
Blessed Mary, ever patient Mother, teach me how to find Jesus… always… in everything.