Monday, March 31, 2014

Mary's Third Sorrow: Losing Her Son

[41] And his parents went every year to Jerusalem, at the solemn day of the pasch, [42] And when he was twelve years old, they going up into Jerusalem, according to the custom of the feast, [43] And having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the child Jesus remained in Jerusalem; and his parents knew it not. [44] And thinking that he was in the company, they came a day' s journey, and sought him among their kinsfolks and acquaintance. [45] And not finding him, they returned into Jerusalem, seeking him.
[46] And it came to pass, that, after three days, they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions. [47] And all that heard him were astonished at his wisdom and his answers. [48] And seeing him, they wondered. And his mother said to him: Son, why hast thou done so to us? behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. [49] And he said to them: How is it that you sought me? did you not know, that I must be about my father' s business?[50] And they understood not the word that he spoke unto them.
[51] And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them. And his mother kept all these words in her heart. [52] And Jesus advanced in wisdom, and age, and grace with God and men.

 This one is a parent's nightmare. You are out with your children, and when you turn around, you don't see your child. Panic sets in, your heart begins to race, you being to search frantically, in fear that you may have lost your child forever. This grief endured by our Blessed Mother is one that any parent can sympathize with. Our children are so dear to us, and given to us by God to care for, protect and guide, and to lose one's child seems like a betrayal of that trust. We can only imagine the fear and grief that our Blessed Mother endured, knowing who her child was to become.

In one way, this loss presages a later, and more dire loss that the Blessed Mother will face, when her Son goes on the Way of Sorrows to the Place of the Skull. When she loses her Son the first time, what thoughts went through her mind? This child was given to her by God, in a direct way, and now he is gone? In the end, she and St. Joseph are guided to the Temple to find Jesus there, speaking to the Temple elders, impressing them with his wisdom. This reunion brings joy to the Holy Family once again, but there is still the knowledge that this happy time will not last.

I grieve for Thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in those anxieties 
which tried Thy troubled heart at the loss of Thy dear Jesus. Dear 
Mother, by Thy heart so full of anguish, obtain for me the virtue 
of chastity and the Gift of Knowledge.

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