Tuesday, 21 October 2008

The Finding

Here is another icon in my Rosary series.

This one portrays the fifth mystery of the five Joyful Mysteries: the finding of the child Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem.

The story goes that when Jesus, Mary and Joseph went up from Nazareth to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover with all their relatives and friends, Jesus, age 12, was very interested in listening to the discussions among the various teachers in the Temple.

In fact, he was so interested that when Mary and Joseph and all the relatives left to return home, Jesus somehow slipped away and stayed behind in the Temple so that he could participate in the ongoing discussions about the faith and traditions of his people.

It wasn't until the end of the first day's travel that Mary and Joseph discovered that Jesus was not with any of the relatives. Distressed, they immediately returned to Jerusalem in order to search for him -- both along the road and in the city, itself.

For three days they searched for him and finally returned to the Temple in desperation. Here they found him sitting among the teachers and scholars who were amazed at his knowledge and understanding.

His parents, greatly perplexed, asked him, "Son, how could you do this to us -- did you not know we would be distressed and frightened?"

Jesus replied, "Did you not know that I must be about my Father's business in my Father's House?"

I have often wondered what Mary and Joseph must have thought about such an answer after all they had been through! Anyway, the Scripture tells us that Jesus went with them and they all returned to Nazareth where Jesus was obedient to them and grew in knowledge and wisdom.

In the icon, you see the 12-year-old Jesus seated on the "teacher's throne" while the learned men sit at his feet. Mary and Joseph are looking over the wall in amazement. The Greek word at the top of the icon means "Finding". The open book that Jesus is holding has the words "My Father's house" written on the page -- a fragment of his answer to Mary and Joseph.

I hope all my Ontario readers are keeping warm tonight and that you have managed to stay out of the snow just north of the City of Toronto. I heard that last year on this date the high in Toronto was 26 degrees Celsius! What a difference a year makes.

Anyway, whatever the weather, may peace fill your heart.

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