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  • Dyann Maldonado

Third of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed virgin Mary.

Second Sunday of Lent

February 25,2024







In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit seeking our Lady's intercession. Let us pray.

Hail Mary, full of Grace.

The Lord is with thee,

Blessed art thou among women,

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,

pray for us sinners

now and at the hour of her death.

Amen

 

Good morning, brothers, and sisters. Today, I'll be speaking to you about the third of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The third sorrow is when she and Joseph lost Jesus for three days and then eventually found him in the temple. This is, of course, the fifth joyful mystery of the rosary. I'll just read it, and this is again, it's in your bulletin. The beautiful picture on the front is of this sorrow and then there's a section, of course, to give you some direction on the specific devotion and this comes, of course, from the Gospel of Luke.

Now, his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of Passover. And when he was 12 years old, they went up, according to custom and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy, Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it. But supposing him to be in the company? They went a day's journey, and they sought him among their kinfolk and acquaintances. And when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him. After three days, they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them, and asking them questions and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. And when they saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously, he said to them, how is it that you saw me? Did you not know that I must be in my father's house? They did not understand the saying which he spoke to them, as with specifically the mysteries of the rosary. You know, we meditate on them so, so often we can become kind of a little used to them. And we don't always go deeper. We don't always really pray and try to seek the deeper mysteries that are always present. Of course, anything in regards to the word of God, there's always more to seek, always more to find, because it's not. These aren't mere human words. These are the words of God, God's Word. And since God is infinite, the truth is infinite. And so, we can always seek more of it. In this mystery, the sorrow of the Blessed Mother.

Obviously, we know the story. Jesus stuck around in Jerusalem. He didn't tell Mom and Dad. They took off and went with family in the company back to Nazareth. They go a whole day's journey and they're looking for him. They just figure, you know, Jesus is a socialite, right? He likes to go out and be with the people. He's clearly very extroverted from what they can tell so they're looking for him. They can't find him. They've been traveling the whole day. Obviously, he's not with their group. He's not with the group. He's probably still in Jerusalem. They turn around and walk another day back to Jerusalem as two days. And then on the third day, they're searching for him and eventually they discover him in the temple.

I like to think that Mary and Joseph were probably talking on the road back to Jerusalem saying, okay, where will he be if he's in the city? They probably in his mind, he was in one of two places. He was either with the poor caring for them in some way or he's in the temple because that's the house of God in prayer. I figured he had to be in one or the other. And eventually they go to the temple and there he is, sitting down perfectly fine, sitting amongst the teachers, listening to them, and asking them questions. Now, as a slight aside, sometimes people will call this mystery. When Jesus taught in the temple, that is absolutely not true at all. Don't call it that. Jesus didn't teach in the temple, at least not at the age of 12. Why? Because he's 12. He was sitting among the teachers. He was listening to them and asking them questions. Now, could he have taught? Of course he could. He's the son of God. No doubt. But he's just a 12-year-old boy. That would be very presumptuous of a child to try to teach adults, even if there are children who know more than adults. You know, is it really going to go well for you if you go up to them and say, let me tell you how this is? Jesus isn't teaching now, are they learning from him? Probably because he's that wise right in He's wisdom itself, but he's sitting there listening to them. Then Mary and Joseph come up to me like, Son, what's going on? Why have you done this to us? Don't you know that your father and I have been anxiously searching for you? Now, that is, I think, a completely natural thing to say to a child that has just disappeared. Some of you have lost a child here and there at times. I remember one time we were going on some family vacation and, you know, there are 12 kids, so it's a lot of us. And we stopped, you know, use the bathroom, get some snacks. We got in the car and drove off and we go a couple of miles down the road and left one of the boys back. Mom was like counting heads. no, we're missing someone. So. Right. So, you know, as parents, when you lose a child, when they're you don't know where they are, so to speak, it's very traumatizing Immediately. What comes to your mind is all the worst possible things. And most of all, you're afraid that they are suffering, and you want to save them. You want to protect them from that.  You run and you start searching for them. And naturally you would feel a tremendous amount of anxiety until you see your child, until you know they're okay. That anxiety is perfectly normal that happened. So here are Mary and Joseph. They can't find Jesus. no. Now, what do they think was probably happening to him? One of the fathers of the church said they believed that his passion had begun. They thought that's what they were anxious about. You see, Mary and Joseph, 12 years earlier, the last the second sorrow of the Blessed Mother had already heard the prophecy that this boy, this baby at the time is going to suffer. They knew that Jesus was going to suffer. They just didn't know how and when, so they knew was going to suffer. This father said that Mary and Joseph were thinking, no, maybe his passion has begun. You can imagine the fear and the anxiety that that would provoke, and they hurry back to Jerusalem, and when they find him perfectly fine, they're upset with him.  If you found a child that was just didn't come home for a couple of days, and then you come up to them and they're just having fun. They're just, you know, having a good time, Everything's fine. Why don't you do this? Don't you know how worried I've been? That's what you would say to them. And how does Jesus respond? I'm so sorry. I didn't know it would worry you. No, no. Here is the son of God saying to them Why were you searching for me? Didn't you know I'd be in my father's house? Jesus has no idea why Mary and Joseph are anxious and worried about him. No idea. Now, that's hard to understand if you don't really know Jesus. Why? Because you think as the Son of God, he knows everything, right? This is where you're wrong. Jesus has to intellect. He has a divine intellect, which knows everything. Which knew that Mary and Joseph would have been anxiously searching for him. But he's got a human intellect that doesn't know everything, which is weird, because that means Jesus doesn't tell himself everything.

He doesn't. His divine intellect does not tell his human intellect everything, which means his divine intellect allowed Jesus to not understand it, allow Jesus to not understand Marian Joseph's anxiety and worry for him. And what does he say? He's basically saying, Mom, Dad, didn't you know, this is where I'd be. He again, he doesn't understand their fear and their concern for him and, you know, that is kind of normal for children in general, isn't it? Mom and dad are freaking out because of X, Y, and Z, and you're like, Mom, dad, what's the big deal? I'm fine. Jesus is experiencing this exact thing. Now, Mary and Joseph are still not comprehending what's going on here. They don't understand. Now, in this mystery, one of the things we must pay close attention to is the anxiety that Mary and Joseph felt. You see, there are different kinds of anxiety and there are different reasons. There are different reasons for being anxious. I can be anxious because I'm going to suffer. I can be anxious because someone I love is going to suffer. It usually follows one of those two. Either I'm going to suffer or if someone I love is going to suffer.

 

Now, one of the things we notice from the Saints is that they're never anxious when they are going to suffer. Never. They trust in the will of God. They've learned to bear their crosses patiently. Whether they are suffering or know beforehand that they are going to suffer, they don't feel any anxiety. That's because they have a profound faith and trust in the Lord. Now, if you saw one of your children suffer that would cause you pain, wouldn't it? It would cause you pain. It would make you suffer. But again, this is a very important distinction. You're allowed to feel anxious for the suffering of your children or the suffering of others. But Jesus doesn't want you to be anxious about your own suffering. But what is the nature of the anxiety that Mary injuries have had? Remember, this is the immaculate mother of God, sinless and perfect, and always. Saint Joseph, great. Second greatest saint of the church. Right. Clearly profound faith in God, amazingly virtuous and holy man. Their anxiety is not sinful at all in this context, which means it had nothing to do with their suffering. They were anxious because they were concerned about Jesus's suffering. Now, what was the nature of that concern? Was it? I don't want Jesus to suffer because that's often what we think with the ones that we love, especially our children. I don't want him or her to suffer this or that. No. Again, a saint wouldn't think that a saint would not actually want their children to suffer. That's not where their anxiety comes from. Their anxiety comes from the fact that they want to be with them when they suffer. They want to be by their side. Now, we know this because Mary always perfectly conformed to the will of God would never resist or go against the father's will for her son. We know that God wants Jesus to suffer. He wants him to suffer and to die to redeem all of us. We know that is the will of God. Mary knew that was the will of God, and so she would have never prevented Jesus's sufferings. Never. The Saints say that the reason she and Joseph were anxious and rushed back to Jerusalem to find him was not because they wanted to stop his passion, because they wanted to support him, to stand by him in his passion. They didn't want him to suffer alone. This is a very important point, and this is one of the ways in which so many young people become self-centered egotists because their parents don't let them suffer. You don't punish when they do wrong, whenever they do wrong, and they could get in serious trouble. You bail them out. Now, you might think that that's a loving act. That I'm saving my child from suffering. No, that is a completely and utterly self-centered act and is never pleasing to God. I'm not saying you don't help your kids and you can get them out of what trouble you can in reasonable circumstances. But the idea that they're not supposed to suffer is un-Christian. I'm sorry if the Son of God is supposed to suffer, you think your children are any better? Any different? You think the will of God for your children is going to be different than his will for his own son? No, you've got it wrong. All of us need to suffer because of sin. All of us. And you can say, what about the little ones that are innocent? No one is innocent. Everyone has original sin, you know, besides Mary and Jesus, All of us.

Everybody has original sin. They might not have personal sin. Fine. I understand. But they are a part of this collective, sinful humanity. And if Jesus, who was innocent, had to suffer, then your little babies who are innocent must suffer too. And we need to learn to stop complaining or getting upset or angry with God because of the suffering of the people that we love. That's just a temptation of the evil one to reject the will of God. Suffering is an intrinsic part of salvation. You separate suffering. You don't have salvation, the suffering of Christ and our suffering. It's not only his suffering. It's our suffering in unity with him. And what is the greatest suffering for any parent? It's the suffering of your children. It's not your own suffering. It's the suffering of your children. Which is why that is always the greatest test that God gives to a Christian. He will take one or more of your children and he will make them suffer in this or that way. And then they'll say, do you support me? Wasn't that the test we heard in our first reading? Isn't that how God tested Abraham? The reason Abraham received the promise that he would be the father of many nations is because he was willing to sacrifice his only son. His only son because God asked of him. Imagine just for a moment, your Abraham, your old, you don't have any kids. And then, miraculously, by the grace of God, your wife gets pregnant, and you have this boy and now you have an heir, you can hand everything over to him.

Your name will be passed down. It's very exciting. You're very happy. Abraham loved this boy more than anything else, even more than himself. And when this boy was a young man, we think like a young teenager. Something like that. God says, by the way, Abraham, you know that miraculous boy I gave you. I now want you to offer him in a Holocaust.

I want you to kill him and burn him on an altar for me, for my honor. And Abraham doesn't hesitate. He doesn't say, Are you sure? God, this is what you want. I mean, you're the one who gave him to me. He doesn't tell Sarah. I don't know how that would have gone. He just takes. His kid gets the wood, the fire, the knife says, come on, son, we're going to go pray to God. And they go up the mountain. He ties them up.  He's prayer ready? No hesitation. He's about to literally cut his throat. And God's like, Whoa, whoa. Okay, Abraham. Okay, just stop. Stop. You passed. You pass the test, and then he sees the ram, and he offers that instead. The reason Abraham received the greatest promise that God had given to anyone at that time in history is because Abraham was more like God than any other man on Earth.

We know it because of his willingness to sacrifice his only son, because that is the greatest act of God, the Father. When God, the father is looking down on us and he's saying, Who down there on that little blue planet is like me. But there's only one test. Take the one you love even more than yourself and sacrifice them for me.

 

That's the test. And our lady, she passed. We know she was there at the foot of the cross. She never resisted the passion of her son. In fact, the Saints teach us that if the Roman soldiers had stopped crucifying him, she would have gone up and finished. That is the faith of Abraham. That is the love of God. Now, for some of you, I know that there are times in which you would have no problem sacrificing this or that child. So again, but generally, I'm just speaking. Generally, you won't do that, right? There's always that one at that time, right. Lord, please, I'm willing to sacrifice this one for you now, you know? But it's still the greatest test that he's going to give each one of us in one form or another. Yes. It might not be the actual death of the child, but how many times do either we or someone in our lives know someone who lost a child? That's the worst pain for anyone. And sadly, how many times do these Christians lose their faith in God at the loss of that child when in fact it should enhance their faith? It should draw them closer to God, the Father. Because who can understand their pain better than God? Who understands better the price that has to be paid because of sin in this mystery, you have Mary and Joseph. They were not resistant at all to Jesus's passion. Their desire was to go and be with him in his cross, not to take it from him. And that is one of the most important things you can do as parents for those that you love is stand by them when they're suffering. You can suffer with them, but don't necessarily take that pain away. They need it. It's sanctifying. So as you continue to pray and meditate on these sorrows of the Blessed Mother, you'll see as we go through all of them, how our Lady in such a unique way is able to not only help us experience and understand the passion of Jesus, but to respond to that passion in the most perfect way in those situations in your life in which you are anxious and afraid for your own suffering or you want to stop the suffering of your children, I want you really to pray about this. Are that what God wants? You to do? What is he asking of you? And the one that you love? Is he asking this cross, this suffering? If it is the father's will, are you going to go against it? You can always ask God for anything that you want. But you know, when we end our prayers, we in the same way Jesus taught us, not my will thine be done. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen


Homily begins at 15:00




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