Minute Meditations

No Dream Is Perfect

No dream is perfect, no way the only way, no direction irreversible by God, whose way is the way of reversal, as Mary’s son soon will make clear when he leaves her and Joseph in the lurch at the age of twelve and does not accompany them home to Nazareth from Jerusalem. So Mary makes her way back to Jerusalem, where she and Joseph search anxiously among the crowds there for Passover, looking for their lost son. However, as they soon discover, he is not lost. He has, at twelve years of age, found himself. They find him in the temple teaching. Mary is hurt by this unexpected reversal, this atypical behavior from so perfect a son who had been growing in grace and wisdom; she feels her own son wielding the sword that is piercing her heart. And she says as much. “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety” (Luke 2:48). Jesus’ response must have been hurtful to Joseph, who was already painfully aware of how little he had to do with the conception and birth of this child: “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49). The implication hits so hard—my real father, the one who matters, the God of Abraham. Joseph now gives back God’s gift, Joseph the mystic, who has known the revelation of dreams and angels. Mary must hurt for Joseph, but they both understand that the Holy Spirit has once again surfaced, this time painfully, their own small roles clearly evident in this huge story of God’s prophecies coming to pass. Their road suddenly shrinks; their way seems poor compared to the way, who is this very boy, so good and obedient and kind who now, like Joseph and Mary before him, has heard the Spirit’s call and recognizes that voice and suddenly begins to remember who he is, dimly, but certainly; no other voice will have the same power over him as this voice, the echo of his own. It is as if his own voice is calling him, yet it is the Holy Spirit. They somehow are one. Mary and Joseph in humility and love begin to recede into the background, Joseph forever, and Mary emerging only briefly throughout her son’s life on earth.

— from Mystics: Twelve who Reveal God’s Love  by Murray Bodo

Mystics by Murray Bodo


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