JUNE 12. IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY. Luke. 2. 41-51
Every year the parents of Jesus used to go to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up for the feast as usual. When they were on their way home after the feast, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem without his parents knowing it. They assumed he was with the caravan, and it was only after a day’s journey that they went to look for him among their relations and acquaintances. When they failed to find him they went back to Jerusalem looking for him everywhere.
Three days later, they found him in the Temple, sitting among the doctors, listening to them, and asking them questions; and all those who heard him were astounded at his intelligence and his replies. They were overcome when they saw him, and his mother said to him, ‘My child, why have you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you.’
‘Why were you looking for me?’ he replied. ‘Did you not know that I must be busy with my Father’s affairs?’ But they did not understand what he meant.
He then went down with them and came to Nazareth and lived under their authority. His mother stored up all these things in her heart.
Mary, like us, had to learn and while she was Christ’s mother, and taught his as a child, as he matured he then had to teach her “the mind of God” as this does not come naturally to any human being; - it has to be learnt, and to put it into practice, it needs sanctifying grace; - a divine gift!
This reading took place when Christ was twelve years of age, which means he was developing and maturing and was being guided and influenced by the Holy Spirit, and this event, in Jerusalem for the Passover, could well have been the first occasion when Jesus began to teach his mother “the mind of God”
It should be noted also that this was the only occasion during Christ’s thirty years of hidden life (ninety percent of his time on earth) that any of his words or teachings were recorded, and the message he gave us, and Mary, is profound.
That message is simple, and amounts to telling us there is nothing that must be allowed to take precedence over the Will of God; - the words he used being; - “Did you not know that I must be busy with my Father’s affairs?”
This was the first time Mary had heard from her son that he was subject to the Will of God; - before he was subject to his parents; - and even before he was subject to his own will and desires; - and it is a lesson that Christians also need to learn.
It is interesting to note the response of Christ’s earthly parents on being given this information; - “They did not understand what he meant!” But we are also told how Mary responded, namely; - “His mother stored up all these things in her heart!”
Christ became a man in order to teach his people, and it is worth noting the only words recorded in thirty years of his hidden life were “Nothing is more important that seeking and doing the Will of God”; - and, like Mary, we need to ponder these words in our hearts!
Gospel Acclamation cf.Lk2:19
Blessed is the Virgin Mary, who kept the word of God
and pondered it in her heart.