Mass Reading & Meditation for June 8, 2013
Meditation: Luke 2:41-51
The Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary
“Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” (Luke 2:48)
Any parent who has lost a child for even a few minutes in a crowded place can understand Mary’s concern when she realized that Jesus was missing! In first-century Palestine, caravans traveled in two groups, men and women, and the children moved freely between them. So neither Mary nor Joseph noticed their son’s absence until camp was set up at the end of the day.
Perhaps Jesus had wandered off along the road, curious as any twelve-year-old, and then lost his way. Maybe he stayed behind in the crowded city, packed well beyond its usual population with feast-day pilgrims—and maybe some pickpockets and kidnappers as well. What a sleepless night Mary and Joseph must have had before retracing the way back to Jerusalem the next morning to look for him! Or maybe they set out immediately, searching in the darkness.
Mary and Joseph had grown so accustomed to Jesus’ presence, and now he was gone, his absence sudden and unexpected. The only way they could satisfy their profound sense of emptiness, their sense of loss, was to look for Jesus everywhere they could.
Occasionally we, too, lose our sense of Jesus’ presence. When we pray, we may feel as if we were talking to thin air. Or in the midst of some difficulty we may wonder, “Where has God gone?” Perhaps we’ve lost our sense of the Lord because of our busyness, our indifference, or a pattern of sin. Or maybe God is “absenting” himself to increase our hunger for him.
“If our Lord withdraws himself from the sight of a soul that loves him,” explained St. Alphonsus Liguori, “he does not, therefore, depart from the heart. He often conceals himself from a soul, that it may seek him with a more ardent desire and greater love.”
Mary sought her missing son with longing and perseverance. She didn’t give up the search until she found him. Let’s follow her example. Let’s eagerly seek Jesus every day of our lives.
“Mary, your immaculate heart is open to all who ask for your help and intercession. Teach me how to draw nearer to your Son, Jesus. Show me how to stay close to him at all times.”
Tobit 12:1, 5-15, 20; (Psalm) Tobit 13:2, 6-8