What do we see in these three pivotal moments in the Bible when Jesus is lost, longed for, and found?

Finding Jesus – Meditations #3

What do we see in these three pivotal moments in the Bible when Jesus is lost, longed for, and found?


00:03 – Host (Host)
Welcome to Meditations for Saints in the Making, episode 3, recorded Wednesday, February 28, 2024. I’m the Catholic Adventurer. Thank you for joining me. Today we’re going to be talking about events in Scripture where people are seeking and finding Jesus. Specifically, we’re going to talk about the finding of Jesus in the temple and how it relates in some ways some substantial ways how it relates to the resurrection of the Lord when Mary Magdalene was seeking and found Jesus. We’re going to, I guess, add some color with a couple of other Scriptures. I’ve got a lot to talk about. I’m half-considering making this a two-part topic because there is so much to talk about, but I’m going to do my best. Let’s see if we can squeeze this into one hour. Again, I want to thank you for joining me. If you’re not already doing so, please bookmark the following URL. This is the portal website for this podcast Meditations. It is think of it as link to lnkto slash Catholic Meditations. It’s the word link without the I lnkto slash Catholic Meditations. You’re especially going to want to bookmark that. If you haven’t before, definitely do it now.

I said in the past I was going to occasionally include a guided meditation on that week’s subject. This will be the first time. I’m not going to do it now but I’m going to do a guided meditation for this subject. We may pray a Decad of the Rosary and I’ll guide you through a meditation on specifically finding Jesus, probably the one finding Jesus in the temple. Maybe I’ll do two decades where we’ll do finding Jesus in the temple and we’ll do one on finding Jesus at the tomb, find Jesus at his resurrection. I will make that available exclusively at the Meditations portal site, lnkto slash Catholic Meditations. If you’re interested in a guided meditation, this will be a good time to bookmark that site.

The finding of Jesus in the temple is our only glimpse into the childhood of Jesus. The backdrop to this event is one of the most frightening narratives one could ever imagine, especially a parent losing a child during a long trip far away from home. Fulton Sheen said that this episode is the closest that the Blessed Mother ever gets to experiencing sin. It’s a pretty profound statement. This is the closest she ever gets to experiencing sin. Why? Because losing Jesus is not a sin. So why is this a close experience to what one experiences through sin? Fulton Sheen said that because in sin we lose Jesus. In sin we lose Jesus, we lose God, we become separated from Him and the heart, in great anguish and suffering, longs to find Him again. I thought that was pretty profound.

The narrative of the finding of Jesus in the temple has a lot to mull over. There’s an awful lot in that story and I think what we find there has echoes in another significant event in the Gospels the resurrection of Jesus. In fact, I see some very close and tight ties between those two events. We’re going to discuss them here In this episode. We’ll go over both narratives, analyze the ties between them and we’re going to try to go beneath the surface of the obvious, as I like to say. Go beneath the surface of the obvious, looking more deeply at what we’re seeing in each of those two episodes in the life of Jesus.

So let’s get into it. Let’s start with a prayer In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit amen. Come, holy Spirit. Enable our minds to know and understand your truth wholly and fundamentally. Help us to comprehend what’s revealed to us in the Holy Word of God, in accord with your will for each and every one of us. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ and by the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well-beloved spouse. Hail Mary full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst 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 our death. Amen, come, holy Spirit. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us. Most sacred heart of Jesus, have mercy on us In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, amen.

The first scripture we’re going to go over is the telling of, as I said, the events of finding Jesus in the temple. It’s going to be in Luke, chapter 2. You don’t have to worry about memorizing this. I will include links to, or at least references to, the scriptures that I’m using in this episode’s on-demand page on my website and probably everywhere else that you find it. This podcast is now carried by everybody, so no matter where you’re getting this podcast, you’re going to find pertinent references in the description. So here we go In Luke, chapter 2, verses 41 through 52, we’re talking about Mary and Joseph finding the Lord Jesus in the temple.

Just to give you a basic rundown, the Holy Family went to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. I don’t remember how long the festival went on for, but it wasn’t a few hours, I recall it being a few days, several days. They complete the festival and this was not just an invitation to a party. Every Jew was required to go to Jerusalem for Passover. If they were able, you’d better have a real good reason for not being able. At the last or at the time of our Lord’s passion, everybody was in Jerusalem. You remember when the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles at Pentecost, there were Jews from every nation speaking various languages. If you remember that the Holy Spirit descends on the apostles, the apostles emerge from the upper room and they’re speaking languages that they’ve never learned, and Jews from other nations were able to understand them. Well, what are all these people doing here? Because every Jew throughout the world because not Jews didn’t all live in Jerusalem or in Israel. So Jews throughout civilization had to make a pilgrimage to Israel once a year for Passover, at least for Passover. They might have had to do it more than once a year, now that I’m thinking of it, but at least for Passover they had to be there. That’s why the Holy I was going to say the Holy Spirit that’s why the Holy Family is there now. They do their duty. They’re on their way home. They travel for a day. They’re accompanied by a bunch of family and friends, a caravan, we don’t know how many, but it sounds like a lot of people. They thought Jesus was with their family and one of the other I don’t know carriages, whatever they were traveling in. After a day of traveling, they realize Jesus isn’t there in the caravan, and so they head back to Jerusalem to find him.

Now, as I read this, I’m going to read it in full and then I’m going to break down certain segments, certain sections I’m going to talk about. But as I read this, I want you to really imagine this scenario. Don’t imagine the Blessed Mother and Holy St Joseph oh, st Joseph, most chaste. Don’t imagine them that way. Try to imagine a man named Joseph and a woman named Mary have lost their son, not their son, the son of God, just their son, jesus. Try to make this a little more human than holy, if you know what I mean, because that’s going to help you to connect to it a little bit better. It’s easier to go from the human to the holy in contemplation and meditation. It’s easier to go upward. It’s harder to start at the holy and to connect to it. On a human level, it’s hard to go from high to low. It’s easier to go from low to high. So imagine them as two parents who have lost their son.

Each year, his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover and when he was 12 years old, they went up, according to the festival custom, after they had completed its days. As they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Knowing that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among the relatives and acquaintances with them, but not finding him. They returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished and his mother said to him my son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety. And he said to them why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be at my father’s work? But they did not understand what he meant. He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was obedient to them and his mother. And his mother kept all these things in her heart and Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man.

The Gospel of the Lord, thank you, jesus Again. This is the first moment where, as I said, the Gospel breaks its silence on the early life of Jesus and then we don’t hear anything else about his life until the wedding feast at Cana. That’s significant. That’s significant, but I’m not going to tell you why. I’m not going to tell you why. Take it to your own meditation. Take it to your own meditation. See, if you can, I might connect a few dots for you in this episode to get you started, but take it to your own meditation. So it’s interesting that Jesus has been alive for 12 years before we finally hear from him and then we don’t hear from him again for another 18 years. Is that right? 18, 19, 20? Yeah, 18 years. Had to do the math quick in my head, and so you can almost think of it this way. This scripture, this scripture passage or this scripture narrative, has big shoes to fill, because we don’t hear anything for 12 years or 11 years before and 18 years after.

I like to think again. This is why I say things like don’t think of this as church teaching. I like to think that the Holy Spirit packed a lot of things in here, right, sort of to make up for lost time Not literally that, but I just feel like this is one event sandwiched between 11 or 12 years prior and then 18 years after, and so the Holy Spirit put a lot in here. I like to think that because I see a lot in here, my friends, if you don’t see a lot in here, don’t be discouraged. I’ve been meditating on this for quite a while. It’s not like I just, you know, read it once, and all of these things that I’m going to share with you don’t on me. Don’t get discouraged. If you don’t see things as I see them as deeply as I see, don’t get discouraged, because what I’m sharing with you is the result of a lot of meditation on this scripture. So I see a lot in here.

Okay, where to begin First? This isn’t an earth-shaking point to make, but I do want to point out that throughout this narrative, we’re hearing a lot about knowledge, wisdom, applying wisdom, the seeking out of truth, the expression of truths that we possess or that are possessed. You’re going to see that a lot throughout here and I point that out because we’re going to talk about some specific words that have to do with that. So the first thing, after three days, they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Immediately you should see parallels to Mary Magdalene finding Jesus on the third day, on the day of the resurrection, which we’re not going to talk about yet, but it’s really an obvious parallel. I just cannot believe it’s only coincidence. After three days, they found him in the temple, and where they find him, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Now, he was also stating things. Right, because the Scripture also tells us that the elders were astounded by his answers. Right, so we have an exchange of knowledge.

Later on, the Scripture says that Jesus grew in wisdom. Well, how is it that this is God and he’s exchanging knowledge? Why is he asking questions? Doesn’t he know everything? Isn’t he God? How does he grow in wisdom? If he’s already God? He shouldn’t have to grow in wisdom. He should be wisdom itself. Well, all of that is true and valid, but Jesus was also a human being. He wasn’t just God, and the Scriptures tell us that Jesus, or God, emptied himself of his glory in order to take human form.

I like to explain that to people by saying, by telling a story. When I was a little boy, I used to play wrestling with my older brother, who has passed away, and I miss him very much, and this was a special memory for me. We used to play wrestling, we used to play fight, and my brother was much taller than I was. He was a tall kid. He was older than me, but he was also a tall kid, so he was much taller than I was, and so he used to get on his knees to play fight with me, would play wrestling, and he used to get on his knees to kind of take away his advantage, at least a little bit. That’s God emptying himself of his glory to take on human form. I don’t know how tall my brother was at the time, let’s just say, let’s just say he was six feet tall, just for an easy number.

Now, on his knees, was he still six feet tall? Yes, but was he, I guess, leveraging his full height? No, no, he negated the advantage of his full height. God negated the advantage of his power and glory quote, unquote advantage. He negated the power of his glory and his knowledge to become a human being. So Jesus, the boy Jesus I think that’s why this scripture is very careful to refer to him as the boy Jesus. So the boy Jesus had to learn scripture. He had to. I can’t say he had to learn obedience, because disobedience is a sin and Jesus is like us in every way but sin. So I guess he had to learn to deepen his obedience. Maybe he had to learn how to speak. He had to learn how to walk. He had to learn how to be a Jew Right, just like my children have to learn and they boy do they still have to learn how to be Catholic. Right, jesus had to learn how to be a Jew, not because he wasn’t God, but because he accepted the limitations of being human in all ways but sin.

Now, in verse 47, it says all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. The Latin Vulgate uses the word prudentia. Prudentia, where an English translation uses understanding, it’s where. So prudentia is where we get the word prudence, that’s where we get prudence from, and a better translation for that word in English would be wisdom. Some translations, you find, may use the word wisdom there. Okay, so it’s not just knowledge that Jesus has in his head. All who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. We would think that they’re just amazed that Jesus, the boy, jesus, seems to know so much for his age. But that’s not really what’s happening.

There’s two things to point out here. First, where most English translations might say astounded or surprised, or impressed, the Latin is I forget, it’s stup-, something stup-, stupibont or something like that. It’s where we get stupified from. I think it’s also where we get stupid from. I’m being serious. So, yes, stupibont is the Latin rendering for what happened there, and it’s a word that means so surprised you’re left speechless, astounded, kind of. See, we don’t take language so seriously as we ought to, I think, because we use words like astounded when all we really mean is mildly surprised or maybe more than mildly surprised. I was astounded. Well, that’s not what the Scripture says. The words in Scripture means to be so shocked you’re practically left speechless. The Scriptural word wording is very deliberate, very deliberate. So they weren’t just astounded, they were left speechless. Left astounded or stupified for what? At his understanding and his answers. That’s a limitation also. Now, what are these elders and teachers astounded by? They’re astounded by his understanding Again in Latin, prudentia, his prudence, his wisdom.

Now, wisdom is not knowledge. Wisdom is not, especially from a biblical perspective. Wisdom is not the things that you know. Wisdom is how fundamentally you know them right, which is natural, how fun. So there might have been things in math class when you’re going to school that you just barely could comprehend them. You knew them well enough to pass a test, but you didn’t know why these math problems worked out this way. And as you grew up and your mind developed and your experience developed, now you understand certain things that in school you could work them out, but you didn’t know why they worked out that way. Now you understand them, you’re wise to them, right. You understand them fundamentally, deep down. It’s part of your being right. Most of that is natural, but also from a biblical perspective.

Usually, usually, usually, wisdom was something not just natural but brought forth through divine, I guess, assistance, right, there was a sacredness to wisdom. To be wise meant that your knowledge and your understanding was touched in a sense by the hand of God and brought to greater fruition, above and beyond what your natural experience could do, and I think that’s why the teachers here are stupefied. They’re astounded, they’re so shocked they’re left practically speechless at what they observe in Jesus, verse 48,. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. There’s a lot of astonishment going on, right, there’s astounded, astonished, but there’s more to it than that, otherwise I wouldn’t be talking about it. When his parents saw him, they were astonished and his mother said to him my son, why have you done this to us? Pause, something that I see in this story.

I don’t just see losing Jesus and finding Jesus. I don’t just see, as Fulton Sheen said, the experience of sin, losing Jesus, becoming far separated from Jesus. I also see spiritual desolation. You know, spiritual consolation and desolation are normal rhythm in the spiritual life. If you’re applying yourself the way Fulton Sheen saw something like the experience of sin, I see something like the experience of spiritual desolation, losing Jesus, being out of touch with Jesus, not having Him near to you, and we always want to say when we go through periods like that in our lives, we always oh boy, do we always want to say Jesus, why have you done this to me?

I said it, I think I said this in the last episode and I’ll say it again, If you don’t say that you are a saint, because I say it well, I don’t say it all the time now, but traditionally I have, I think. Now I just say Jesus, what is your problem with me? It’s a different form of the same thing. So the Holy Virgin is almost expressing something that we express when we experience spiritual desolation. And I’m sure it felt like a spiritual desolation because, being in close proximity to Jesus, I mean they lived with Him, right, joseph and Mary and Jesus lived together. You have to imagine that brings that proximity to Jesus. The Son of God must bring some spiritual light to the people, especially to His parents, who are closest, not just proximally but I guess, spiritually, emotionally, who are closest to Him and he closest to them. Maybe for three days for Joseph and for Mary being separated from Jesus was the worst possible spiritual desolation you could imagine. Son, why have you done this to us? Your Father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.

Again, the old scripts don’t use great anxiety. They use words like great suffering, right, but like a great anxiety and great suffering biblically sort of overlap, but they aren’t identical. To be anxious is to be worried. I don’t like that word when we’re talking about the Blessed Virgin Mary. Maybe St Joseph was worried, maybe he was anxious, but I feel, like the Holy Virgin being of perfect faith, she knew they were going to find Jesus. I have to believe that she had perfect faith, perfect trust in God. Why would she be worried? Because maybe anxious just because she was without Him, not anxious because she didn’t know where we ever find Him? Is he okay? Is he eating? Oh, I’m so anxious.

The Holy Virgin had perfect faith and trust in God. The Holy Virgin knows this is the Son of God. I don’t think she was worried about His well-being. I think she was greatly suffering because she was without Him. She may not have known when they would find Him. Maybe that caused some anxiety, I don’t know, but she knew. I believe she knew they would find Him. Something to point out there.

And then Jesus said to them get this. Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be at my Father’s work? In translations it says in my Father’s house Now this why were you looking for me thing? There are a number of ways we can think of that. Why did you bother looking for me? I would have been fine. What’s the matter with you looking for me? What’s the matter with you? I would have come back to you.

But that’s not what Jesus is saying. You shouldn’t have been anxious looking for me because I have to be at my Father’s work. Didn’t you know that? I think that’s kind of closer to what he was saying, Because, look, jesus, even if Jesus were not the Son of God and he was just a boy named Jesus, a 12-year-old boy knows why his mother would be looking for him. Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be at my Father’s house or at my Father’s work? So here we almost see Jesus not putting keeping his parents, keeping his mother and his father at bay. Why? Because he must be at his Father’s work. He doesn’t want to be. I don’t know.

You can think of it almost again. Do not think of this as church teaching. This is me sharing my thoughts. You can almost think of it as Jesus saying don’t hold me back, don’t hold me down or don’t touch me because I have to be at my Father’s work. Sound familiar. Don’t touch me because I have not yet entered into my Father’s kingdom Sound familiar.

Let me tell you something else that might sound familiar to you. Woman, what business is that of mine? My hour has not yet come. Do you remember where that’s from? The wedding feast at Cana here in the wedding feast at Cana? Well, let me back up.

So what we see in the temple? We see Jesus being about his Father’s work, his Heavenly Father. We see him not disobedient, but kind of almost a little standoffish, right. But then what does the Scripture say? He returns to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them In the wedding feast at Cana. Now we can assume Jesus has not been at his Father’s work between 12 and, I guess, the age of 30, at the wedding feast at Cana.

We don’t know, we can’t know, but just imagine. Okay, just imagine he returns to Nazareth with his mother at 12 and then he falls completely in line. He’s obedient, all this stuff. We don’t see him at his Father’s work again until the wedding feast at Cana. But there he doesn’t take the initiative. The Holy Virgin prompts him to do a miracle and still he’s standoffish.

Hey, what business is that of? What business is that of mine? My hour has not yet come. It’s not time yet to do my work as the Messiah. And just as Jesus was obedient to Mary, what happens at Cana? Mary commands others to be obedient to Jesus. The tide changes. Do whatever he tells you.

Jesus then does his first miracle turns water into wine and that starts the clock. From the moment of that first miracle. Now, jesus didn’t perform a miracle at the temple. From the moment of the first miracle at Cana, the clock was ticking because now his revelation of himself as the Messiah begins. And where does that culminate? The cross and the resurrection.

It’s like the Holy Virgin knew that. It’s like the Blessed Mother was saying now is the appropriate time to start the clock. My son, now is the appropriate time to start the clock. It’s off topic, but can you imagine? The blessed mother knew her son was the Messiah. She knew the Messiah would have to suffer and die for the sins of mankind or for the sins of man. And here she is starting the clock. Amazing, amazing, amazing. It had to take tremendous courage and devotion and trust for a mother to start a clock like that, and I do believe that’s what was happening. I don’t think she was telling Jesus at Cana hey, they ran out of wine. Why don’t you do them a favor? The blessed mother is not petty. I think she saw this as an opportunity for her son, the Holy One of God, to begin his public ministry.

I do believe that, and I’m not the only one I know. Fulton Sheen also believed that, and I know at least one saint. It might have been Louis de Manfort, but don’t quote me on that. I know at least one saint. I’ve read a lot of saints and at least one of them thought similarly Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety and he said to them why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my father’s house or my father’s work? But I want to focus on my father’s house. When you’re anxious, close your eyes and I want you to picture Jesus. However, you want to picture him as the boy Jesus, as the grown Jesus, the Jesus at the wedding feast, the Jesus on the cross. However you want to picture him. Close your eyes, picture Jesus and imagine him saying why are you anxious? Why are you worried? Why are you scared? Why do you feel lost? Don’t you know that I am in my father’s house? Come, find me there. Come. Come to my father’s house and find me, don’t you know that I must be in my father’s house. Where’s his father’s house?

In this circumstance, what we’re imagining right now, everyone will very appropriately say well, the house of God is a church. Right, the house of God is a church, yes, but I want you to imagine something differently in your meditation. The father’s house is the quiet solitude of your interior self, within yourself, within yourself, in that quiet place where your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. But even within that right, your soul, the quiet place of your interior self, because your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, the interior self can be thought of as the father’s house, the house of God, or maybe lowercase t, the house of God, or you could say, a house of God within yourself is a house of God, and you will find Jesus there. You will find Jesus there. You’ll find him truly in church before tabernacle. Yes, yes, yes. But remember that if you allow yourself to focus on him in the quiet and stillness of your interior self, there you will find Jesus in the temple of the Holy Spirit. He’s in his father’s house, he’s within yourself. You can look for him there. Look for him there often, frequently.

It takes a discipline. It’s not a light switch, it’s not as simple as going from one room to another. It’s discipline. But the way you build a discipline is by doing it. Find the Lord Jesus in his father’s house. Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my father’s house? But they did not understand what he said to them. They didn’t understand what he said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was obedient to them and his mother oh sorry, oh, it was obedient to them and his mother kept all these things in her heart.

We see that at least twice. But I think there’s a third time where we hear that Mary kept all these things in her heart. I think so once was here. I think once was when the three wise men came to visit them in the manger and I thought when Mary and Joseph present Jesus in the temple, I thought there was a pondering in the heart there too. But I couldn’t find it. But I can swear there’s at least. There’s definitely two. But I could have thought there. I thought there was a third one In most Bibles, even in a couple of Catholic Bibles.

I don’t like at all how that’s translated. Some translations are so bad as to say Mary remembered this in her heart. It’s almost as if she says well, she’s going to be thinking about this every now and then, remembering it the way you remember a birthday party or the way you remember I don’t know your first kiss. I don’t know. That’s not what the scripture is talking about. And his mother kept all these things in her heart. What is scripture talking about? She pondered them, she meditated and reflected on them. Yes, the Blessed Mother reflected and meditated on things she could not understand. St Joseph very likely, almost certainly did too, when she did not understand the Word of Jesus Christ. She kept and pondered these things in her heart. You might also say she remembered them, but I’m not going to get into that.

I’m going to do an episode of my other podcast, the Catholic Experience, and I’m going to talk about knowledge and remembrance, to know and to remember. I’m not going to get into that here. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man. So, as you see, there’s a lot here that we could go over. Well, there’s a lot that we did go over, and there’s really a lot more that I could have gone over, but I don’t want to ruin the experience for you. I don’t want to come between you and the Holy Spirit, who loves you. I want the Holy Spirit to accompany you and to lead you to surprises. And even if I shared with you everything that I get out of this, the Holy Spirit is still going to have more to lead you to. But still I don’t want to step on the Holy Spirit’s toes or the Holy Spirit’s wings or the Holy Spirit’s tongue or fire. So I encourage you to go and take this scripture to your own meditation. Take this scripture to your own meditation.

Oh, how do you meditate, you might be wondering. Well, as a reminder, go to lnkto. Think of it as link two, but without the I in the word. Link lnkto slash Catholic meditations. It may not be there yet, as you’re listening to this episode, but I will be recording and posting to that portal site a guided meditation on this mystery of the rosary finding Jesus in the temple. It’s going now I have a more exhaustive guided meditation, or I guess I guess like instruction and coaching meditation. That’s available only on my website and only to paid subscribers. Five bucks a month. It’s not going to break the bank for you. Really, what you get out of it is you support my work by subscribing and as a thank you, I provide you with some additional episodes, articles, stuff like that. I will be doing a guided meditation. It won’t literally be a tutorial, but you’re going to hear some things that will help you to learn how to meditate. Exclusively to the portal site link to slash Catholic meditations, lnkto Catholic meditations. I will be putting it there. It may not be there when you’re listening to this, but I promise you it’ll be there within a day or two of your listening to this.

We’re not going to get into the weeds the way we just did, but the next scripture does have some very interesting things going on. So, to give my brain a break before we get into that, let me take I’m going to time myself. Let me take a minute and a half to make this announcement. Here we go. I’m starting the timer now. A minute and a half, it’s all going to take. Please don’t fast forward, please don’t skip.

Okay, please check out my website, catholicadventurercom. You’ll find subscription links there if you want to become a paid subscriber. You will also find links to sign up for my newsletter. I will be providing exclusive content to my newsletter recipients in the form of a secret podcast that I will produce and provide only for newsletter subscribers. The newsletter is not. I don’t sell your information or trade it. I just use it so that I can keep in touch with you without relying on the good intentions of social media, because the social networks don’t have good intentions.

Catholicadventurercom. Follow me on Twitter or X at for the queen BVM, and on Facebook the damnable Facebook at Catholic adventurer. And I think that’s the only announcement. See, that didn’t even take long. Okay, let’s get back in with it.

Now things get a little bit hairy when we talk about the resurrection narratives. It’s in all four Gospels, but I’m going to be reading from the Gospel according to Saint John and I’ll also make some references and mentions of things we see in one or two of the other Gospel accounts of the resurrection. Now things get hairy because there’s some variants from one Gospel to another. There’s some variances in the details. Was there one angel or were there two? Were there no angels? Was the tomb open and empty when Mary Magdalene got there, or was it closed already and she had to see the angel move it? Did she see Jesus first and then she ran to the apostles or did the events happen in a different sequence or in a different order?

Some people, as particularly atheists, will point that out and saying you see, there are four different accounts. They’re not really different accounts, but there are four different accounts or four different sets of details and I guess order of things in the four Gospels. That means the Bible is not the Word of God because it can’t even get its own details right. Let me just address that really very briefly. The four Gospels were written by four different people and four different traditions and they were written across a span of time.

Now, if all four Gospels were giving their accounts of this one event and all of their details lined up perfectly, that would be suspicious, because that is an indication that the story was rehearsed, that the story was worked out, details were worked out and then there was some agreement that was arrived at where all four Gospel writers decided okay, this is how it went down. If all four accounts lined up perfectly, that would be suspicious. Anyone who investigates crime, for instance, or does background checks, they will tell you this that sometimes details are too perfect. They’re too perfect to be believable. That there are details here that don’t line up actually makes the Gospel more believable. Now are these details, the details that don’t line up? Are they important? No, they are not.

What’s important and yet another reason why the Gospel is so credible what’s important, is the substance in the accounts of each of the four Gospels. It doesn’t matter if there was one angel, two angels, no angels or an army of angels at the tomb, because what’s important there? What’s important in the narrative that we get out of that? Jesus wasn’t in the tomb. What’s important that we get out of there? He’s resurrected. Did Jesus encounter Mary at the tomb? Or did Jesus encounter Mary, as it says in another Gospel, on the road or on her way to the apostles? Because those are two different details. Well, that detail doesn’t matter. Where he encountered Mary Magdalene doesn’t matter. What matters is that there was an encounter. Also, whether or not he encountered Mary Magdalene really doesn’t matter either, because the whole point of this narrative is Jesus was not in the tomb, jesus was resurrected.

What happens between A to Z does not matter, not substantially anyway. There are things that we get from certain details and things that perhaps we’re deprived of in the absence of certain details. Okay, okay, but that’s not the point of the narrative. That’s not the point of the account. The point of the account is not to say how A got to Z. The point of the account is to say there’s A and there’s Z and there’s 24 letters in between. That’s the point of the account. The point of the accounts in these Gospels is that the tomb was empty because Jesus had risen from the grave On with the show.

I’m reading from the Gospel of John because since there are variances across the four Gospels, I wanted to use the one. So John was one of the apostles, luke was not, mark was not. He was just like John’s, a little bit better. This is John, chapter 20. On the first day of the week, mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and she saw the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved that would be St John, by the way and she told them they have taken the Lord from the tomb and we don’t know where they put him. So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and he arrived at the tomb first. He bent down and saw the burial clothes were there, but he did not go in.

Let me pause for a second. He bent down and saw the burial clothes were there. They were just there. Okay, you figure. Yeah, okay, so they were just there. Why point that out? Well, why ride it in the first place? Why put it there if it’s not important? But put it in your pocket. We’re going back to it. Okay, going back to it in a second. He bent down and saw the burial clothes, the burial cloths, I’m sorry, so the burial cloths there, but he did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there and the cloth that had covered his head, jesus’s head not with the burial clothes, but rolled up in a separate place. Let me pause.

So now we’re seeing we’re seeing a lot more about the burial cloths, right? Important point number one Jesus was not in them. I think that’s partly why this is being mentioned. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. So we’re getting a lot of talk about the burial cloths. Who should care? We should care.

It’s in scripture for a reason. So it says Jesus John went in, he saw and he believed. What did he see? He saw an empty tomb. Why would he believe from an empty tomb? Think, think. He goes in, he sees the burial cloths and an empty tomb. He saw and he believed. Well, he believed in the resurrection because the tomb was empty. But maybe the grave had been robbed. Ah, but if the grave had been robbed and the body of Jesus stolen, would the burial cloth still be there? Would the cloth that covered his face be rolled up nice and neat in a separate place from the rest of the burial cloth, if the grave had been robbed?

Another thing that’s significant in one of the scriptures let me just reference this real quick. Yeah, it’s not in Matthew and I’m not going to look for the other two, but in one of them. I believe the the translate and it might actually be in this one, but in a different translation where it says the burial cloth was folded was folded. That’s significant because in ancient Israel, when the master of the house sat to eat if he ever had to get up to do something there were two things that the master of the house signaled to the servant. One is that I’m leaving and I’m finished. The other is I’m leaving but I’m coming back. And I think I think I remember now, when the master of the house fold Lee or neatly folded the cloth like the napkin, it was a signal to the servant that he was coming back. Don’t clean up my tray, don’t throw away the food, just leave everything in place. I’m coming back. If the master of the house got up and just dropped his napkin or his cloth on the table, he just put it down there. That was a signal to the servant I’m finished, I won’t be back at the table. You can clean up now. It’s significant. Then I think that the burial cloth being rolled up or folded neatly was almost. It was kind of a signal, it was kind of a hint, because in that, okay, an ancient Jew would have seen that and they might have made the connection that when the cloth is folded neatly, it means the master is coming back. That’s something I see in that.

Then the other disciple also went in, the one who would arrive there first, and he saw and believed for they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead, just as Mary and Joseph did not understand the Word that Jesus spoke to them when they found him in the temple, for they did not understand the Scripture that he had to rise again from the dead. Well, let’s leave out the rise from the dead part, for they did not understand the Scripture. Also, in the finding of the temple, it says for they did not understand the Word that was spoken to them. Another way of understanding Word is the Scripture. Then the disciples returned home.

Now we get into the segment where Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene. But Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping and she wept. And as she wept she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there. So the apostles just left. She stays behind. She sees two angels in the tomb. One of the angels was at the head and one at the feet where Jesus’ body had been. Pause there.

When the apostles observe Jesus ascending into heaven, two angels also appear and say to the men of Galilee what are you doing looking up at the sky? It’s just because I do believe we see in the ascension some echoes of what we’re seeing here at the resurrection. And they, the angels, said to her woman why are you weeping? And she said to them they have taken my Lord and I don’t know where they’ve laid him. When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but she didn’t know it was Jesus.

Jesus said to her woman why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for? She thought it was the gardener and said to him Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me, tell me where you laid him and I will take him. Pause there for a second. I really want you to meditate on this and I really want you to build this image in your head when you have time to do it. Build this image in your imagination because you have to imagine how distraught and how heartbroken and how heart achy Mary Magdalene was in this moment. It’s almost like she’s not thinking straight. She thought it was the gardener. Sir, if I don’t know where they let him, did you take him, was it? You? Tell me where he is, tell me where you put him and I’ll go and get him. That’s not just some silly thing or, just as I like to say, it’s not poetry. Think of how distraught and how heartbroken and weepy she must have been. She didn’t recognize Jesus at first and she thought this was the gardener and thought the gardener had taken his body.

Jesus said to her Mary. She turned and said to him in Hebrew, rabun’i, which means teacher. Actually, it means like my great teacher, rabbi, would be teacher. Rabun’i would be like something greater than that, which is important. That’s an important detail. That’s for you to discover. Why, now get this. Jesus then said to her Stop holding on to me, pause, for effect. Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go to my brothers and tell them I’m going to my Father and to your Father, to my God and to your God.

Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples I have seen the Lord and what he told her. Now are you ready for some heavy lifting here? Here’s some heavy lifting for you. So we can see this as a don’t hold on to me because I have to go somewhere else. Let’s go to Acts, the canonical ascension. Here we go, acts, chapter 1.

This is Jesus speaking. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit descends upon you and you will be my witnesses throughout Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth. When he had said this, as they were looking on folks pay attention as they were looking on, he was taken up and a cloud took him from their sight. Now I’m going to take you to the second book of Kings, chapter 2. This is Elijah and his successor, elisha. When they had crossed over, elijah said to Elisha Ask for anything that I might do for you before I am taken away from you. Elisha answered May I receive a double portion of your Spirit? And Elijah replied you have asked for something that is not easy. Still, if you see me taken up from you, your wish will be granted. As they walked on, still conversing, a fiery chariot and fiery horses came between the two of them and Elijah was taken up to heaven in a whirlwind and Jesus was taken up into heaven and a cloud took him from their sight. The apostles saw Jesus taken up into heaven and Elisha saw Elijah taken up into heaven. The apostles were given the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and Elisha was given a double portion of Elijah’s Spirit.

So here we see three episodes of people looking on episode 3 of Meditations for Saints in the Making. We’re seeing three episodes of people looking for Jesus. One, the Holy Virgin and St Joseph look for Jesus in the temple. Then we see Mary Magdalene looking for Jesus and finding him, either at the tomb or having just left the tomb on her way to the apostles. Don’t touch me or stop holding on to me, because there’s something I have to do next In doing my Father’s work. There’s something I have to do next the ascension. I have to do the next thing. I have to be about my Father’s work.

And then we see in the resurrection. We see the apostles looking for Jesus up in the clouds While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them and they said Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? I almost feel like the words like idiots should conclude that Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky like idiots? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven. The Scripture says that these are two men. They’re obviously two angels. Angels, with God’s permission and for God’s purpose, have taken the form of, have taken human form Several times in Scripture. They probably still do today. Yes, I’m serious. So we have three episodes of people looking for Jesus and finding him again.

We see connections in all three of these little narratives and there’s plenty of material there for you to mull over in your mind, material for you to imagine, for instance. Maybe you’re not and I’m really not an intellectual type. You know the two types of meditation. One is intellectual and one is narrative. I’m more a narrative, imaginative, intellectual and imaginative. I’m more the imaginative type. Believe it or not, I will be again. It may or may not be available as you’re listening to this, but I will be recording a guided meditation on probably finding Jesus in the temple. That’s going to be me guiding you through the meditation. You will be doing the meditating. So, as I bring this episode to a close, I want to thank you for listening and I want to remind you something very important Bookmark that website, lnkto. Think of it as link to, but don’t put the I in the word link. Link TO slash. Catholic meditations, the portal site for meditations for saints in the making.

If you’re not aware already, this podcast is carried on every major podcast distribution network. Anywhere you prefer to get your podcasts, you will find this podcast there. You’ll also find my other podcast, the Catholic Experience, everywhere that podcasts are found. Please check out my website at CatholicAventurercom. I’ve got podcasts there. I have extra content there. I have articles and essays there. Sign up for my newsletter. You’ll see the link there for it. You’ll see it usually in all of my portal sites. I usually have a link somewhere on there. I definitely have it on my website. I have forms everywhere. Consider becoming a paid subscriber. Support my work.

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But the Catholic Experience podcast and everything else that I do, I work very hard. Your five bucks a month is going to support the Apostle and for whatever is extra it’s going to put food on my family’s table and we could really use that Five bucks a month. It’s not going to kill you, cost less than that coffee that you just put down. And on that note, this has been episode three of Meditations for Saints in the Making. I’ve been your humble host, the Catholic Adventurer. Follow me on X at For the Queen BVM. Follow me on Facebook at Catholic Adventurer. God bless you. God be with you all. See you next time. God bless you.

Join me as we embark on a journey through Scripture to uncover the three significant moments of seeking and finding Jesus. From the temple to the tomb, we explore the parallels between Jesus’s youth and his resurrection.

We discuss the themes of longing, loss, and the joy of reunion with the Lord, as well as the contemplative experience of Mary and Joseph in their anxious search. Listen in as I share the richness of these narratives and invite you to a guided meditation available through our portal website. 

In this conversation, we consider the human aspects of Mary and Joseph as parents in the story of Jesus at age 12, offering a perspective that brings us closer to their experience. We touch upon the significance of wisdom and truth-seeking in the passage, and how these themes echo throughout Jesus’s resurrection. As your guide, I share personal reflections and encourage you to meditate on these scriptures, inviting a connection that transcends church teachings and fosters individual spiritual growth. 

We wrap up this spiritual exploration by contemplating the resurrection narratives across the Gospels, noting how the differences among them enhance their credibility. I highlight the pivotal encounters of Mary Magdalene and the disciples with the risen Christ, and the transformative moments that follow. Through these reflections, we seek to understand the importance of the ascension and the role of the Holy Spirit in realizing one’s mission and purpose. Enrich your faith through these timeless narratives of finding Jesus.

Chapter Timestamps

(00:03) – Finding Jesus in Scripture
Seeking and finding Jesus in the temple and Mary Magdalene’s encounter with the resurrected Christ, with emphasis on loss and reunion.

(08:08) – Reflecting on Finding Jesus in Temples
Humanizing Mary and Joseph in the narrative of Jesus at age 12, emphasizing themes of knowledge, wisdom, and truth-seeking.

(14:38) – Understanding Jesus’ Wisdom and Humanity
Jesus, fully divine, grew in wisdom as a human, astonishing teachers and parents with his profound knowledge.

(27:24) – Finding Jesus in the Father’s House
Mary’s role in prompting Jesus’s first miracle and finding solace in the interior of oneself, “The Temple of the Spirit” is the House of the Father.

(39:05) – Exploring Resurrection Narratives in Gospels
Analyzing the resurrection. Explaining that discrepancies in the Gospel narratives make the Gospel more credible, not unbelievable. The significance of the burial clothes in John’s Gospel are also significant.

(48:14) – The Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus
The disciples’ reactions to Jesus’ resurrection, Mary Magdalene’s encounter, and the transformative moments of receiving the Holy Spirit and witnessing divine actions.

(58:00) – Supporting the Catholic Experience Podcast
Support the Apostolate through listener contributions, be ‘Saints in the Making’, and engage with content on social media.

Scripture References

Finding Jesus in the Temple – Luke 2:41-52 

Finding Jesus after the Resurrection – John 20:1-10 Mark 28:1-10
Jesus’ Appearance to Mary Magdalene – John 20:11-23

Elijah and Elisha – 2 Kings 2:9-11
Ascension of Jesus – Acts 1:8-11

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