A Joyful Reflection

This morning I was praying the rosary. For those not familiar with the devotion, it’s a Catholic form of prayer where you repeat certain prayer in 5 groups of ten while meditating on different sets of 5 Mysteries based on the life of Jesus. (For more information about the rosary, click here.) Today’s set are called the Joyful Mysteries, and one of the Joyful Mysteries caught me off guard today. This Mystery that struck me is the Mystery of The Finding of Jesus in the Temple.

You might not remember the story from Scripture (Luke 2:41-52), so I’ll sum it up here: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph go to Jerusalem for Passover, as is customary. Upon leaving, however, Jesus’s parents think he is in their caravan, when he is not. After a day’s journey from Jerusalem, his parents begin to look for him, and cannot find him. They return to Jerusalem, and find him in the Temple, talking with the Rabbis. When they tell Jesus that they have been worried about him, he replies,”Did you not know that I must be in my father’s house?”

I think that this Mystery struck me the most because of some interpersonal challenges that I have been facing recently. In an attempt to protect the privacy of others, I’m going to leave out personal details that might identify anyone else about whom I write.

Lately, I’ve been trying really hard to show someone in my life, who is not religious, how special my faith is to me. I’ve been trying to show her just how much it means to me, and how much I would love to share the same faith with her. I have felt very much like I wasn’t getting through to her, and that she wasn’t going to be able to see from where I am coming. But the Mystery and my reflection on it this morning changed my perspective.

I was moved to look at this friend as the child Jesus in the Temple. She is so loving and kind, so compassionate, just as Jesus was and has called Christians to be. While she might not be religious, that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t get it. It also doesn’t mean that her set of beliefs are entirely or necessarily off-base. My Church teaches that many religions and systems of belief have at least a grain of truth, and some have much truth. We are to value and recognize all that is good and true in other faiths and traditions.

So, friend (and the rest of you too), if you read this (and I’m pretty sure you will), remember two things: I love you, and I value what you believe. I hope the feeling is mutual.

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