Retreat Reflections- The Finding of the Child in the Temple

The last Joyful Mystery is the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple.

Luke 2:39-52

[39] When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. [40] And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.

[41] Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. [42] When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. [43] After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. [44] Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. [45] 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, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. [47] Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. [48] When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

[49] “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” [50] But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

[51] Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. [52] And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

We don’t know much about Jesus’s childhood except for this little exercpt. If you are a parent, you can just imagine the panic of discovering that you’ve lost your child and if that child is the Saviour of the World… well, I am thinking that Mary and Joseph were a little panicked. Upon finding Him, Jesus asks His parents why they were looking for him, after all why WOULDN’T He be in His Father’s house?

We all lose Christ from time to time. There are times when our souls are on fire for the Lord, and there are times when the embers are just smouldering. Even the Saints had periods of time when they didn’t feel as connected to Christ as before. For a while, I thought of myself as less of a Catholic because there were times when I just didn’t feel God working within me. I would see my  evangelical brothers and sisters in Faith so overcome with Joy for Christ and I would be envious for that feeling, and there were times that I wondered if it was just my destiny as a Catholic to sometimes feel separated.

That changed when I read an article in Time magazine covering the lost writings of The Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. She writes: “Where is my faith? Even deep down … there is nothing but emptiness and darkness … If there be God—please forgive me. When I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven, there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives and hurt my very soul … How painful is this unknown pain—I have no Faith. Repulsed, empty, no faith, no love, no zeal, … What do I labor for? If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there be no soul then, Jesus, You also are not true.” Despite this, her Faith in God’s working through her never waivered, and she just pined for His closeness. Saint Therese of Lisieux (the Little Flower) called her Spiritual Drought “a night of nothingness.”

I was relieved to find out that I am not ever alone, even when I feel that Christ is farthest from me. On the Contrary… when you feel that Christ is furthest from you is when He is closest to you. The Evil One has a knack for making you believe things that are not true. “Christ has left you;” “You lost Him;” “He’ll never come back to you.” Lies, lies, lies.

And the best thing about losing Christ… the joyful moment you find Him again.

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1 Comment

Filed under Art, mothering

One response to “Retreat Reflections- The Finding of the Child in the Temple

  1. Colleen

    Nice reflection, Kari. True freedom is in recognizing our need to belong to one who calls us to Him over and over again! It is obedience and submission which are foreign to us at times, aren’t they? The Grateful Dead lyric, “You will find direction around some corner where it has been waiting to meet you.” He is there so where are we?

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