Fifth Joyful Mystery: The Finding of Jesus in the Temple
Praying each mystery of the rosary is an opportunity to meditate on an important moment in the Gospel story, and the final Joyful Mystery is the finding of Jesus in the temple. This moment for Mary and Joseph must have been scary and panic-filled. Trying to find their lost son in a sea of people in the huge city of Jerusalem would have been like looking for a needle in a haystack.
“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.” Luke 2:45-48
In our own lives, there can be moments of panic when we think we have lost sight of Jesus or that Jesus has gone missing in our lives. What was once a comfortable relationship with God through Jesus can all of sudden be lost due to life’s struggles, challenges, and circumstances. As scary as these times are they are moments of faith movement for us that will provide us with a new perspective and understanding of our relationship with Jesus. Just like Mary and Joseph, it will move us to a deeper understanding of an incarnational God.
The last couple of months have been an interesting time, to say the least. No public celebration of Mass and reception of the Eucharist might make us feel like Mary and Joseph running around trying to “find” Jesus. While being a scary experience, it can also be a time when we can find Jesus in many other places and may point out to us that we are compartmentalizing Jesus into narrow places in our lives.
I was emailing with my spiritual director, Fr Mike Erlander, to cancel our scheduled May appointment. We started to converse about our prayer experiences in this strange time. I told him that although I miss going to Mass, being in community, and receiving Jesus in the Eucharist my prayer life was being very fruitful. There has been a sense of real closeness to Jesus and God through prayer, scripture, and the world. He was also having the same experience. I feel grateful that in this time God has made my prayer time very fruitful as this is not always the case and there are times my prayer can feel mechanical and distant from Jesus.
Besides our prayer life, we both felt a real closeness of Jesus in the people we encounter during our day and that people seem to be going out of their way to be cheerful and friendly. I know as I bike or walk around neighborhoods my waves and greetings are met by very friendly greetings in return. Living in Minnesota is truly a blessing with the wonderful and caring people that live here. We both are also feeling Jesus’ presence very fully in the emerging spring. It has been easy to feel close to God in the beauty of nature and the power of God’s creative energy that surrounds us.
As we get closer to returning to community worship and prayer (I do not know exactly when and how that will happen) we can return with an increased ability to find Jesus’ presence at any time and situation we may be faced with.
Peace, blessings, and prayers