Weekly Missionary Reflection
Sunday, 26 December 2021
Feast of the Holy Family: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
1Sam. 1:20-22,24-28; Ps. 84:2-3,5-6,9-10; 1John 3:1-2,21-24; Luke 2:41-52
All looks beautiful: pious mother, totally obedient father, despite his silence. However, when the Son entered adolescence, confusion and different priority emerged. The Holy family also experienced the struggles like the common families. In this story, we listen the first words of Jesus and the last words of Mary. What do we learn from them?
First, Mary and Joseph offered the religious atmosphere and room of freedom to their Son. Although Jesus would become the Bar-Mitzvah (“The Son of Law”) at the age of 13, they had included Him in the pilgrimage. They give the best for their son: not just education and wealth, but the most important is the environment and education of religion! Jesus was left, but not because He was forgotten. His parents purposely gave Him room and freedom to mingle with the relatives and pilgrims. Family is the place to share the freedom and trust to children (to the spouse as well) so that they can grow to be their own selves.
Second, Mary and Joseph were busy looking for Jesus. After one full day trip, Jesus was still in Jerusalem. They had to return to Jerusalem, another one-day trip. On the third day, they just found Him. Family is the place to seek and find Jesus. Life is not just being busy and keeping working. There must be a moment to stop and be introspective: Are we still walking with Jesus? Or perhaps He has been long “lost” from our home and our life journey! The absence of Jesus in our life should give us great anxiety and instantly “turn back”: go to seek and find Him back.
Third, Mary and Joseph learn to honor the priority of their Child. In the temple, Jesus sat in the midst of the teachers: listening and being listened. That is the essence of His life: listening and preaching His Father’s words. Mary gently asked Him for an explanation of what He had done to His parent. The love relationship still remains, despite tension and misunderstanding. Mary and Joseph also had to learn the priority of their Son: “I must be in My Father’s house” (v. 49). He had to keep Himself busy with His Father’s matters and programs. The parents learned that the Son had a special call and mission which was different from their wish and plan. Family is the place for a dialogue where we can listen to Father’s priority for each member.
Fourth, Joseph and Mary learned to understand the Son. They didn’t understand the words of Jesus, yet they kept silent and didn’t matter it or just left Him alone. Together they returned back to Nazareth. Mary kept all the things in her heart (cf. 2:19). Despite of her not understanding, Mary knew that she had to wait until the mystery of God’s plan was understood. For that moment, she just trusted the first words of her Son. She didn’t understand, yet still maintained the unity with her son. She was still present and accompanied Him with her heart. Understanding each other is not always easy. Mary shows us an example: keep calm, patient, and present with heart. She teaches us to wait and not to rush to understand everything, not even to criticize and judge.
(Hortensius Mandaru Indonesia Bible Society)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy, and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:
For Evangelization intention:
For the catechist: Let us pray for the catechists who are called to proclaim the word of God: may they become His bold and creative witnesses, and be always filled with Holy Spirit. We pray…
For Indonesian Churches intention:
For the farmers: May all the authorities help the farmers to improve their effort to have a good standard of living and to meet the needs of the society. We pray…
Special Intention for the year of St. Joseph:
May You be pleased to gather us with the Holy Family, to follow the ministry of Saint Joseph, to present the devotion to Mother Mary and to have faith in The Son. We pray…