I have never understood the importance of the fifth joyful mystery, finding Jesus in the Temple, though I and my wife pray the rosary every day. It must have been unpleasant for Joseph and Mary to lose Jesus for several days, but I have wondered why this incident is so important that it has become a center of Catholic prayer through the rosary.
This mystery is woven through history. For one, the Loss and Finding of Christ is the anticipation of the passion and resurrection.
It also shows that the Holy Family was a family—they experienced the worries of losing each other.
On a personal level, it reflects our anxiety and restlessness when Christ is not present in our lives.
This mystery to me is very personal for it reminds me of the necessity of family, the obedience of the child to the parents, the abatement of worldly worries when we receive the Holy Eucharist, the hope of finding Christ after my death. There’s a symphony of truth that this mystery gives us.
Hope these thoughts made sense to you.
I think also, in the story about the finding in the temple (sorry, don’t have my bible on me), Mary or Joseph asks Jesus something like “Why did you go off and make us so worried?” And Jesus replies something like “Don’t you know I have to do my Father’s bidding?” This is important because it’s the first time that Jesus himself hints at his future ministry / role as the Messiah. Similar to how the Presentation in the Temple is important because of Simeon and the religious woman say that Jesus is to be the Messiah. One of them says something like “I thank you Lord - you promised that I would not die till I had seen the Messiah, and now I have seen him.”
Of course, there are other reasons why those two mysteries are important. Those are just the reasons I know about.
To me, that mystery is very simple to appreciate - all I think about is “The joy of finding Jesus” - in my life! Can you think about times when you were less close to Jesus, vs. times you were closer, and the joy of the Holy Spirit that seems to fill you up? Can you imagine not having Jesus in your heart, how difficult the world would seem to you?
I just meditate on how much Jesus means to me - the joy I have from finding Him.
funny how this just came up when praying a family rosary last week…I too was thinking about this mystery and possible “explanations” when it came to me that we find Jesus in our Temple, in our Church. When He said “Didn’t you know that I would be in my Father’s house”, it says to me that we indeed need to find Him in the Church–in the Mass and the sacraments. I guess to extend it further, when we are lost, searching, looking, alone, we should turn to our Church to find Him. Seeking Him in the sacraments He gave us will lead us to find Him again and again.
Jesus, I Trust in You!
this events foreshadows the time when Mary will lose her Son in death, when He will lie for 3 days in the tomb and then be restored to her at His resurrection.
I meditated on this mystery for an entire summer the year my own daughter seemed to be “lost” and for a long time was able to pray for her in no other way. I recommend this meditation for any parent who has children separated from the Church or from unity with the family.
All of the above, plusIt’s the first time that we see Jesus, the Incarnate Word of God, opening up the word of God (the Scriptures) in great power and authority silencing the elders of the Temple. Here we first see Jesus exercising His divine authority.
Something I wrote a couple years back:
THE FIFTH JOYFUL MYSTERY OF THE ROSARY
Mary Finds The Boy Jesus In The Temple
One day while meditating on this particular mystery of the Rosary, many insights came to me that I hadn’t considered before. I had recently been reading about Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, where Jesus being lost for three days was one of the sorrows Mary endured as the Mother of God. Interesting, I thought, that the same circumstance would cause both sorrow and joy. Much like life.
As I was pondering this, I thought about Mary searching for those three days. How many times did she think she saw her son, but as she got closer realized it was somebody else? The anticipation, the anxiety, the hope a mother would feel, then turned into panic once again as she continues searching. How many times do we misidentify Jesus among us, thinking we have found Him when it turns out to be someone or something else entirely.
Some search a multitude of religions or various churches that consistently disappoint them. Some search to find God in others who badly misrepresent Godly values and make empty promises. Some search for God in pleasure and find only pain. Some search for God at the bottom of a liquor bottle or in a heroin needle and find only sorrow and dependence.
There are times in our lives, in our days, when we don’t search anymore. We are either disheartened in looking, or we think we know Him well enough that we’ll easily recognize Him. Interesting. Have you ever been out with your family and you think you spot one of your children or your spouse from behind, but when you approach them, realize it’s not them? You live with these people and see them every day, yet sometimes you fail to recognize them easily. What makes us think we know Jesus that well? We need to strive to know Him better each day.
A few years ago, I found Jesus, really found Him. I thought I had known Him and been with Him for most of my adult life, but I have come to know Him more intimately over the last two years in a place some might find surprising: the Monstrance on the Altar during my holy hour of adoration. He is there, truly present, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity on the altar. He is there, truly present, in the tabernacles of all the Catholic churches in the world. He is there, truly present, when I receive Holy Communion.
When I take the time to spend with Him each week, I feel His presence and sometimes I hear His voice. Not loud, not always obvious, but revelations occur that never would have if I had not taken that quiet hour to be with Him. Peace envelopes me that I don’t feel anywhere else. Trust develops, faith grows, graces shower down on me and my family that I never expected.
That’s not to say that life is easier. Far from it. Sometimes the more we learn about God’s will for our lives, the harder it is to be accountable for what He’s asking of us. (But that’s the key, that we have to come to Him for help because we can’t do it on our own.) When we pray to God for patience, for a deeper faith, for purification, He will give it to us; just not usually how we think it should be given.
Life is a purification journey, a refiner’s fire. We are constantly challenged in our faith with all kinds of obstacles that try to pry us away from God. If we see these difficult times as times of opportunity to grow in faith, to reach out to God, to put our trust in Him, He will teach us a lot.
So keep searching for Him in your daily lives. Seek him out in the tabernacles of the world. Spend time with Him each day. Find Him, embrace Him, and welcome Him into your heart. Not just once, but every day, throughout the day. You’ll notice a difference.
Another insight provided by a friend of mine regarding this mystery: Consider those to whom Jesus was preaching in the temple for three days. Maybe some of them ended up being his followers or even one of the apostles. Maybe there was just one person who really needed to hear what Jesus had to say and that changed the course of Christianity forever.
I would like to add a couple of things to the good points made already.
First, it could be that Jesus allowed Our Mother to go through what it was like to be without Him so she would acquire a deeper awareness of what we must suffer when we are without Him, and so increase her compassion for us if we were to lose Him. Thus she shares our plight when we find ourselves in a similar situation. So it could be that God was preparing her for her role as Our Mother. I know of a holy person who said Our Lord had her go through six months of the loss of the sense of His presence, in order that she might grow in compassion for those who are without Him, and thus be spurred to pray for them and have compassion on them in their misery.
Second, a number of those Jesus amazed and disputed with in the temple were probably alive later when Jesus was brought before them and put on trial. Could it be that a number of them held a grudge and were motivated to get back at Him for having put them to shame 21 years before? Could this be related to the prophecy of Simeon that He would be a sign of contradiction and the cause of the rise and fall of many?
I believe that the age of 12 has some significance in Jewish life, perhaps the bar-mitzvah or some similar coming of age. I think it is reasonable to associate that transition with the event of this mystery. It certainly must have been important to have been one of the few that were recorded concerning His hidden years.
I hope this helped.
[quote=hurst]I believe that the age of 12 has some significance in Jewish life, perhaps the bar-mitzvah or some similar coming of age.
I posed this question here before, but I was told that the bar mitzvah was created just a few centuries ago. Yet, I wonder about the significance of this age that prompted the Jews to create the bar mitzvah. it certainly reminds of Jesus “reading” from the scrolls in the Temple…