Ok, I admit the title is a little sneaky because I wanted one last opportunity to talk about the rosary and didn’t want to scare anyone off with “Rosary Part III.” Whenever I feel passionate about something and I get super enthusiastic and I start talking really fast and spit flies out of my mouth and my brain starts moving faster than my mouth and I start to slur my words and I type run on sentences…. you get the picture. Please indulge me one last time to reflect on the “beauty” that is the rosary.
I admit I am a newcomer to praying the rosary. I didn’t even have rosary beads I could call my own until recently. I mentioned that I enjoy the meditative quality of the prayer, the repetition of the words, the sound of the cantering. What I don’t like are all of the traditional mysteries that one meditates upon, especially the Sorrowful Mysteries. I much prefer the Stations of the Cross if I must contemplate Christ’s Passion. AND, I also prefer to reserve that kind of Debbie-downer experience for Lent. Call me a smorgasbord Catholic; so be it.
I DO LIKE to contemplate the Luminous and Joyful Mysteries. I mean, the story really does have a happy ending, right? So I prefer to cut right to the good part. But there are a few mysteries that I can relate to in such a profound way and they cut straight through my Motherhood-heart. and sometimes move me to tears. Allow me to expound on one (then I promise to give this topic a rest), losing Jesus at the temple.
Any parent who’s evey been to Disney World knows where I’m about to go with this. Let me set the scene: Joseph and Mary are taking Jesus to the temple at Jerusalem for Passover. The men and women travel together, but “separately.” Jesus is twelve years old and although he is still probably a little boy in the eyes of his mother, he is now old enough to travel with the men. They make the two day journey to Jerusalem. There are throngs of people at the temple and surrounding camps. They celebrate the holy occasion and return home. Upon returning to the homestead Joseph and Mary have that terrifying moment that strikes fear into the heart of any parent, “Where is Jesus?”
I’m certain as parents we have all been there…it’s that moment when you take your eyes off of your kid in a crowded place for a split second and then realize they are no where in sight. You are certain they must be close by; you only took your eyes off of them for a second to attend to another child. You start calling their name, your heart starts to race, you feel it pounding in your chest. Oh my gosh, I’ve lost my kid! You begin to blame each other out of fear and panic sets in.
So imagine how Mary must have felt. Her only son (not to mention also the Son of God), is hopefully (and I say hopefully because they aren’t exactly sure at what point they lost track of Jesus) still in Jerusalem which is a two days journey away. Is He eating? Where is He sleeping? Is He afraid? Will He ever forgive me for being such an incompetent mother?
One time my youngest budding goddess (also 12 years old at the time) fell asleep in the third row seats in the back of my SUV on our way to celebration dinner. The car was packed with people and she graciously offered to crawl into the back. We arrived at the restaurant, we popped for the valet service and all exited the vehicle. We entered the restaurant and confirmed our reservation. It was minutes, AND I MEAN MINUTES, later when we all started looking around at each other…where is Bethie? She must have gone to the bathroom. Bathroom check…no Bethie! OH MY GOSH!! WE LEFT HER SLEEPING IN THE CAR! The relief I felt when I saw her walking through the door of that restaurant was immeasurable. Ok, we can laugh about it now, but it was a terrifying experience and I could not stop apologizing for the next several hours.
So when I contemplate this particular mystery my heart relives the joy and relief Mary must have felt upon finding Jesus in the temple and knowing he was safe from harm. She must have also been filled with such awe and wonder to see her that her son was no longer a little boy. He was a man now “…being about His Father’s business.”
Thanks for allowing me this opportunity to share my love of the rosary with you. Again, my mission is not to convert or convince but to have a dialogue about some of those topics that are near and dear to my heart. I am blessed and grateful for your time.