The Fifth Joyful Mystery, the Finding in the Temple: Jesus Teaches Us About Humble Service

Fifth of a 20-part series on the Mysteries of the Rosary. Next week: The Baptism of Jesus.

In the Fifth Joyful Mystery, Mary and Joseph find Jesus in the Temple. This happens after the Holy Family loses track of Jesus upon returning home to Nazareth from a Passover trip they made to Jerusalem when He was 12.

There were no milk-carton photos for missing kids or "amber alerts" back then. When Joseph and Mary left Jerusalem, they had no idea Jesus had stayed behind. Each parent thinks Jesus is with the other one. After a full day's journey, however, they realize something's wrong and begin asking among relatives and friends if they know where the Boy is (see Lk 2:41-51). It finally dawns on His parents that Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. One can imagine His parents' panic and worry at this point.

Quickly, Mary and Joseph return to Jerusalem to find Jesus. Luke tells us the search went on for three days. On the third day, they find Jesus in the Temple. He is sitting among the elders, "listening to them and asking them questions." Jesus also provided a few answers Himself, and He amazed the elders with His knowledge and understanding. That's when Mary and Joseph arrive, overjoyed and probably a bit peeved at Jesus.

We hear the latter when Mary asks Jesus, "Son, why have You treated us so? Behold, Your father and I have been looking for You anxiously."

Jesus then asks His parents what seems to be an odd question. He asks why they went looking for Him. Didn't they know, He asks, "that I must be in My Father's house?" Jesus' answer leaves Mary and Joseph puzzled. Nonetheless, Luke tells us, Jesus returned with His parents to Nazareth "and was obedient to them."

In verse 52, Luke then adds the only information the Gospels give between this incident in the Temple and when Jesus launches His public ministry at the age of 30: "And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man."

The fruit of this Rosary mystery is obedience, says Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, spiritual director of the Thirteenth of the Month Club.

"It is truly amazing to ponder the fact that Jesus, though the eternal Son of God and Creator of the universe, was so humble that He was obedient to finite creatures," says Fr. Donald. "Think about it: Jesus is God, having all power and all knowledge. Even at the young age in which this mystery occurred, He still ruled all of creation. Yet, even though He is the omnipotent God, He respects all legitimate authority and gives us the great example of obedience by lovingly subjecting Himself to the authority of Mary and Joseph. As the God-man, Jesus respects His parents. He was delighted to be obedient to them, because it was the plan of His heavenly Father to do so."

Joyful Mysteries
1. The Annunciation
2. The Visitation
3. The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus
4. The Presentation in the Temple
5. The Finding in the Temple

Luminous Mysteries
1. The Baptism of Jesus
2. The Wedding at Cana
3. The Proclamation of the Gospel
4. The Transfiguration
5. The Institution of the Eucharist

Sorrowful Mysteries
1. The Agony in the Garden
2. The Scourging at the Pillar
3. The Crowning with Thorns
4. The Carrying of the Cross
5. The Crucifixion and Death of Our Lord Jesus

Glorious Mysteries
1. The Resurrection
2. The Ascension
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit
4. The Assumption
5. The Coronation


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