Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends.When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him.
After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations/
It is natural that the feast in honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus should be followed by a feast in honor of His Mother’s Immaculate Heart. For without that Immaculate Heart, there would have been no Sacred Heart. The Son of God from all eternity would have existed, it’s true, but He could not have taken flesh and become human without Mary’s acceptance of God’s will into her Heart.
In honoring the Heart of Mary we commit ourselves to having hearts like hers. That means hearts which are free of sin, free of any obstacle to God’s grace, pure and totally committed to the will of the Father. It also means having hearts which ponder the events of Jesus’ life, keeping “all these things” in our hearts as today’s Gospel (Luke 2: 41-51) says Mary kept them in hers.
In the “Spiritual Exercises,” whenever there is a particularly important grace that St. Ignatius wants us to pray for, he invites us to use a Triple Colloquy or intimate, heart-to-heart conversation. He explains: “The first colloquy will be with our Blessed Lady, that she may Mother and ours, we go to Jesus Himself and ask for the grace. Thirdly, we go, as it were, with the Mother and the Son, to the Father and ask for the grace. Such conversations–with the Mother whose Heart was completely open to the will of the Father and with the Son who was obedient unto death to the will of the Father–will prepare us to approach God the Father with the same desires of the Sacred and the Immaculate Hearts. As their two Hearts which, in the words of the musical group U-2’s song, “beat as one,” so will our hearts beat in unison with their Hearts’ complete surrender to the will of God.
—Fr. James Kubicki, S.J.
Lord, the anxiety your Mother experienced when you remained in the temple and did not follow your parents home, gives us a deep sense of comeraderie with Mary. She knows the worry of a parent and, more importantly, she accompanies us through the highs and lows of raising children, through the years of mentoring our grandchildren, and in our outreach to children searching to belong. As much as we love the young people in our lives, your love is even more abundant than our own love. We pray that you bring people into our lives who can support our childrens’ journey, and we ask that you provide us with the wisdom to know when to hold on and when to let go.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
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Lord, so many of us yearn for one thing: peace of mind and happiness. Your words provide the answer to this desire: “Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.” Today I will have the opportunity to lose my life to serve you. Will I recognize these moments or will I be too preoccupied with my needs to surrender my life for you? Tonight before the day ends, I hope to recall those times when I did “lose my life” for you. Though these happenings may seem insignificant to others, I know that I will have achieved a private victory that will lead to you deepening your life in me.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!
Today’s Gospel, read in a facile way, seemingly contradicts everything we believe about Jesus and His mission. In what sense does Jesus bring a sword rather than peace, and make enemies of family members? Jesus uses shocking language to teach an important lesson about priorities: we must love and follow God above everything and everyone else.
No thing and no person, not even our parents whom the Fourth Commandment obliges us to honor, can rival the obedience owed to God according to the First Commandment. Under normal conditions these two Commandments do not conflict; they ought, in fact, to harmonize well. Yet we know that sometimes fidelity to God’s law and will creates opposition with loved ones.
Today the Carmelites celebrate their patronal feast, since tradition holds that the Virgin Mary gave the brown scapular on this day in 1251 to St. Simon Stock. In the past several years I have been blessed to encounter two Carmelite communities of women, one located next door to the Demontreville retreat house where I minister, the other in Denmark, Wisconsin near Green Bay.
These Carmelite nuns have made a radical choice to follow Christ, living hidden from the world in order to devote themselves to praying for its salvation. Their life is misunderstood even by some Catholics, who think they are simply fleeing the world or who consider a life centered on prayer and penance a waste of time and talent.
May our young people, especially our own children, find their lives by losing them for the sake of Christ and the Gospel, whether through a vocation to priesthood, religious life or marriage. May parents be given the grace to offer joyfully their children to God’s service in a special way should He call them to embrace the life of a priest or religious.
—Fr. Rob Kroll, S.J.Please share the Good Word with your friends!
Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.
Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.
Now when Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and proclaim his message in their cities.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translationsPlease share the Good Word with your friends!