When Jesus was twelve years old an incident occurred in the life of Mary and Saint Joseph that caused them much suffering and deep pondering. “Mary for her part pondered these things in her heart.”

JERUSALEM AND RELIGIOUS FEASTS.  It was the custom of Jesus, Mary and Saint Joseph to visit the city of Jerusalem and especially the majestic Temple Of Jerusalem on important Feast days—especially the Feast day of Passover.

RETURN AND PAINFUL SURPRISE.  After the Holy Family had finished their visit to Jerusalem and upon returning to Nazareth, after a day’s journey both Saint Joseph and Our Lady, to their great surprise and sorrow, recognized that Jesus was lost!

HOW?  How this losing of Jesus came about was indeed a great mystery! Mysteries?   How many times does God visit us with mysteries and sometimes very painful mysteries that really do not seem to make any sense whatsoever. Sometimes these mysteries perhaps have brought us to even question God’s providential design in our lives. Our Lady suffered and struggled through this mystery of losing Jesus.  Why not turn to Our Lady with the many surprising and sometimes painful mysteries of your life. Talk freely and intimately with Our Lady about your own painful mysteries. Our Lady is the best of listeners, never in a hurry, and can understand your heart better than you can understand it.

LOST AND FOUND. After three days of painful and sorrowful search Our Lady and Saint Joseph finally find Jesus.  These have been among the most painful three days in the life of Mary as well as of Saint Joseph. How could this have happened?  A real mystery!

THE TEMPLE.  They find Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem. He is in the midst of the Doctors of the law both listening to them and asking them questions. Remember, that Jesus is only twelve years of age! Never have these Doctors of the law met anyone so young, humble, but as brilliant as this boy.

TEACHER.  Already Jesus presents Himself as a TEACHER, even at this very young age! Mary and Saint Joseph come on the scene and Our Lady speaks to Jesus in these words:  “Son, why have you done this to use. Behold, your father and I have been seeking for you in sorrow.”  Jesus responds with these mysterious words: “Why were you seeking for me? Did you not know that I had to be about my Father’s business?”

MYSTERY.  Both Our Lady and Saint Joseph did not understand the Words of Jesus; they were clouded in mystery.  Once again dig into the depths of your heart and discover the many mysteries that you have had to encounter in your life and bring these to Our Lady and enter into a deep and trusting conversation with her. Our Lady is longing to listen to you, understand you, and console you as well as to comfort you.  Even though these mysteries may not have an easy solution, sharing them with Our Lady can be of extraordinary consolation! Open up your heart and speak to Our Lady as a little child would speak to her mother. Indeed Mary is the Mother of God, the Mother of the Church, but she is always your mother.  Our Lady in Mexico reassured Saint Juan Diego:  Do not be afraid. Am I not your Mother? You are in the crossing of my arms; you are in my shadow; you are in my apron (tilma) the covering over my womb.”

MYSTERIES IN OUR LIFE.  What might be some of the painful moments and mysteries in our life? Physical pain and sufferings, diseases, the loss and death of a loved one, the loss of a job.  The Mystery might be the loss of a son or daughter to drugs or drinking.  The painful mystery might be the loss of a son or daughter to religion—they have lost their faith in God and are wandering through life without any meaning. One’s spouse! Maybe you lost your spouse through death, or due to unfaithfulness and a painful separation. These painful memories and mysteries in life we should not keep to ourselves but  bring them  to Our Lady. Indeed an integral part of our consecration to Our Lady is the trust in her and the willingness to tell her all that is going on in our lives—even the most painful mysteries that we have been hiding for possibly many years!

JESUS’ OBEDIENCE AND GROWTH.   The Evangelist concludes by describing the Child Jesus, the Son of Mary.  “Jesus for His part was submissive (obedient to them) and He grew in wisdom, knowledge, and grace before God and man.” There is much here that we can bring to Our Lady and converse with her about!

  1. OBEDIENCE.  Let us turn to Our Lady and beg her for the grace to be obedient as Jesus was to her and Saint Joseph. A rebellious, proud and disobedient spirit is repugnant to God. However, a humble, submissive and docile spirit is very pleasing to God. Let us beg Our Lady to help us to obey the Word of God, the Catholic Church, the Ten Commandments, a well-formed conscience, as well as the inspirations of the Holy Spirit.
  2. WISDOM. One of the many mystical and poetical titles for Our Lady is “Seat of Wisdom”. Wisdom indeed is the greatest of all of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.   Wisdom defined is to relish the things of God. Jesus taught us in these words: “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything else will be given to you besides.” Talk to Our Lady and beg her for an ever deep and dynamic Gift of Wisdom in your heart and life.
  3. SEARCH FOR JESUS. As Our Lady was pursuing and searching for Jesus during the course of three long days, in imitation of Mary may we always be in pursuit of getting to know Jesus better, love Him more ardently and be willing to follow Him more closely. True joy and happiness, Our Lady teaches us, is in knowing, loving and serving Jesus Our Lord, God and Savior.
  4. FROM SIN TO GRACE. If we have had the misfortune of losing Jesus in the depths of our heart due to committing a mortal sin, may we never despair! On the contrary, may we return to Jesus through prayer, penance, the Sacrament of Confession and a total trust in Jesus’ infinite Mercy.  “JESUS, SON OF MARY, I TRUST IN YOU!!!”
  5. SPIRITUAL GROWTH.  As Jesus grew in wisdom, knowledge and grace before God and man, daily before the loving and watchful eyes of Our Lady, so may we grow spiritually. How? Like Our Lady, may we sit at the feet of Jesus who is our Master and Teacher and be ready and willing to learn.  Jesus, Son of Mary, speak, your servant is listening!