Encountering God and World in Scriptures

Light of truth

Lectio Divina 6

Fr Martin Kallungal

“And when He became twelve, they went up there according to the custom of the Feast; and as they were returning, after spending the full number of days, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. And His parents were un-aware of it, but supposed Him to be in the caravan, and went a day’s journey; and they began looking for Him among their relatives and acquaintances. And when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, looking for Him. And it came about that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them, and asking them questions” (Lk. 2:42-46).

This passage is about losing and finding Christ. It was after the custom of the feast of Passover that the holy family went to the holy city. After having fulfilled the days, Joseph and Mary left Jerusalem for their home; but boy Jesus tarried behind at Jerusalem. Ae we learn from Jesus Himself at a later moment, He stayed back because He had something to do in the temple which, as He elsewhere declares, was His Father’s house. But, practically, Joseph and Mary, and their fellow travellers lost Jesus. A couple of things are noteworthy regarding the loss: that it was Mary and Joseph who lost Jesus; that Jesus was lost immediately after the great fest of Passover; and that they did not know about Jesus’ absence in their actual life for a day. As soon as they became mindful of Jesus’s absence, they began to seek for Him. Similarly, certain things are noteworthy regarding the eventual finding of Jesus as well: that they first sought for Jesus among their acquaintances; that they did not find Jesus in places where they expected that they would; that they did not stop seeking despite disappointments; and that they finally found Him in the company of the learned in the temple.

O’ My dear Jesus, I am terribly frightened to know that anybody can lose You on this earth. I can’t still imagine that holy Mary and Joseph the just missed You for three days. I can, of course, understand why and when God’s holy Spirit and power left Samson and King Saul. O’ Lord, cleanse me of my sins that I may not miss you due to my wilful offenses. But, even if, with Your grace, I keep myself away from the ways of the wicked, there is still no surety that I possess You always! Where do You hide Yourself, Lord, when I don’t see You? Yes, I realize that avoidance of sins is indeed necessary, but not sufficient to reach You. Lord, I understand that it is not enough that I remain in holy places and perform rituals on a regular basis. O’ Holy Spirit, dwell in me always and make me constantly mindful of the company of Christ.

Let me join my heart with that of Mother Mary and feel the pain of losing Christ. How will my life turn out if I lose Christ? Where will I seek for Him if I happen to lose Him? Will I survive three days without Him? Let me recall the joy of His friendship. Let me feel His real presence in my heart. Let me gently remain mindful of His warm nearness not only at this moment of contemplation but all through my days.

I will immediately assess my routine spiritual activities and make sure that I take part in these not with a supposed presence of Christ but with real experience of His physical nearness. I will improve the spiritual quality of my routine acts by practicing the presence of God. I will seek God till I find Him.

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