March 20, 2023 - 9:12am

Lenten Meditation: Monday, March 20, 2023

Lenten Meditation: Monday, March 20, 2023

Luke 2:41-52

The Feast of Saint Joseph is March 19. Because that date falls on a Sunday this year, the Church transfers the feast to today.1

Today, we hear of the twelve-year-old Jesus going with his parents to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, a time when a large crowd would have been in the city. Mary and Joseph lost track of him in the crowd and went on a panicked search. They found him in the Temple in a theological conversation with the rabbis.

Tween that he was, Jesus did not see why his parents were upset, telling them that he had to be in his Father’s house.

That is the last time — when Jesus was twelve — that we hear of Joseph in the biblical narrative.

Luke says that when Jesus told his parents that he must be in his Father’s house, they didn’t understand what he was talking about. Even the central characters did not grasp the plot. It’s hard to imagine, because, in Luke’s narrative, they had been given many clues. An angel had announced Mary’s pregnancy. Elizabeth had called the pregnant Mary “the mother of my Lord.” Shepherds had told Mary and Joseph about angels appearing in the sky and telling them that Jesus was the Messiah. An angel had chosen the name, Jesus. The prophet Simeon burst into a song about Jesus being “a light to lighten the nations” when Mary and Joseph presented the infant Jesus in the Temple.

Yet even though Mary and Joseph had been given all those signs, twelve years later when Jesus called the Temple “my Father’s house,” they did not understand.

Whether they understood or not, they were faithful to the complex task they had been given. Raising any child is a complex task. Imagine raising this child! Yet, they did it, even though they never quite understood what was going on.

Life is like that for everyone. We never fully understand what’s going on no matter how many clues we have. We certainly never know what’s coming next. Today, try to take the day as it comes, trusting that, just as God was present in your past, God is present in your present, and God is already waiting for you in your future. You don’t have to understand. You just have to be faithful.

[1] “Major Feasts appointed on fixed days in the Calendar, when they occur on a Sunday, are normally transferred to the first convenient open day within the week.” (Book of Common Prayer 16.)

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