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George Carroll

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Blogs by George Carroll

Comments on daily Scripture
7/2/2011 3:02:58 AM
Mass Reading & Meditation for July 2, 2011
Catholic Meditations
Meditation: Luke 2:41-51

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The Immaculate Heart of Mary

His mother kept all these things in her heart. (Luke 2:51)

Historians tell us that mothers in the ancient Near East had close, protective relationships with their young sons. Perhaps this is one reason why it’s Mary and not Joseph who speaks up when the anxious parents finally spot the “lost” Jesus in the Temple.

But unlike Rebekah, in today’s first reading, Mary is not controlling or manipulative. Her reproach to Jesus is surprisingly mild, given the circumstances. And consider how she handles his hard-to-take response. Here is this young man asking a very confronting question (“Why were you looking for me?”) followed by another, even more enigmatic observation (“Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”). And all in a very public setting, with Temple teachers looking on.

What parent or grandparent among us wouldn’t explode in a similar situation? Young man, you’re grounded! And for the next two weeks, we’ll be reviewing the commandment, “Honor your father and your mother.” But Luke records no such retort—no scolding, punishing, or venting. Only silence, followed by the prayerful pondering that is Mary’s trademark response to things she can’t yet understand (Luke 1:29; 2:19,51).

Mary’s unexpected reaction invites us who are parents to do some pondering of our own. Our kids aren’t Jesus, for sure. And when they do things that go against our expectations, they’re not necessarily answering the pull of a higher call, as Jesus was. Children need parental correction if they are to become the men and women God is calling them to be. But sometimes, for the same reason, they also need space.

Whatever pain and confusion Mary felt as Jesus followed his Father’s plan, she gave him space— all the way from the Temple to the cross. Even before God answered her prayer for insight, her heart was big enough to embrace the mystery.

If you’re facing some mysteries and challenges in your family right now, take a cue from Mary. Step back. Ponder. Pray. Ask God for wisdom. Raising godly children is hard work indeed. But you don’t have to do it all alone!

“Mary, mother of us all, please watch over my family and all families today, especially those families that are struggling.”

Genesis 27:1-5,15-29;

Psalm 135:1-6


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