The Fifth Joyful Mystery
THE FINDING OF THE BOY JESUS IN THE TEMPLE
When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. Hail Mary
After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Hail Mary
When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts. Hail Mary
He was sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Hail Mary
Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. Hail Mary
"Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you." Hail Mary
"Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" Hail Mary
But they did not understand what he was saying to them. Hail Mary
Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. Hail Mary
And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men. Hail Mary
Glory be to the Father...
"Why are you searching for me?" One could be forgiven for thinking that here we are dealing with typical teenager 'lip'. But Christ was God and man. It is His very Being that drives Him to act so. He is the Father's will made manifest, the perfect image and likeness of His Being, the Father's Word, Image and Son. Doing the Father's will is what the Son does. Mary and through her Joseph knew this but in their panic and concern they had forgotten and missed Him. Here He speaks of His mission: to do the Father's will. He comes to enlighten Israel and mankind and He begins in Jerusalem, in the temple (the icon of Him who is the Temple) and amidst those who should recognize Him but do not: the doctors of the Law. Learning is not always wisdom or insight; it is not always the path to God. It is the poor and ignorant (His mother and St. Joseph) who seek Him, find Him and hear the Gospel proclaimed: "I must be about my Father's business". In the icon above (Novgorod, fifteenth century) Christ sits above the learned as He who is Wisdom itself and who teaches those who will listen. He sits as the God-man Emmanuel come to enlighten a world sunk in darkness.
It is fitting that I get to write this today on the feast of St. Joseph the worker. In these days of recession it is his example and his intercession that we need. Notice his silence. He says nothing in scripture but his actions speak volumes. He supports Mary and her Son. He works, he leads by example, he contemplates the mystery of God's saving actions and above all he obeys. He is truly a righteous man.