The WORD in Other Words by Fr Wilfredo Saniel SVD (Philippines) on the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Once when I was shopping in a mall, I saw a mother wearing a plastic band around her waist to which were attached three extended plastic ropes, each tied around the waist of each of her three young children. I thought it was the mother’s creative strategy to rein in her children so they could move around without getting lost. It would certainly be a nightmare for the mother to lose the children in the midst of a moving crowd.
It might have been a nightmare too when Mary and Joseph found out that Jesus was missing in their company. Their three days of searching conveys the message that parents lose total control of their children in a pivotal moment when children begin to seek their own identity and destiny in life. Jesus left the company of his parents without permission for one sole reason – to know more about his Father from whom he would discover his mission. The story of the boy Jesus being found in the Temple introduces every believer to an experience of a mystery – the mystery of God in the mystery of one’s own humanity.
God’s mystery always presents as a puzzle to all believers. The boy Jesus was no exception. It is a mystery that lurks deep in the heart of being human. It is a mystery that seeks to be discovered, known and understood. Such a mystery conveys two meanings. Firstly, it is the yet unexplained attraction of Jesus to God his Father. Secondly, it is the desire to know more about himself in relation to his Father. As with Jesus, so too with the youth of today in relation to knowing their identity.
– Fr. Fred Saniel, SVD (DWS, Tagaytay City)