“Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
But they did not understand what he said to them.
Today is the feast of St. Joseph, Jesus’ foster-father as my kids would say. For today’s Mass readings, there were two options. The quote above is from the second option, when Mary and Joseph found Jesus in the temple after he had been lost for 3 days. I have always loved this passage and all of the connections it has to so many other things. The most obvious one, of course, is to the death of Christ and then the rising up on the 3rd day. When he is lost for 3 days to his parents, he is also lost to us after the crucifixion for 3 days. Just as they were distraught and feeling His loss, so are our feelings of loss during the Triduum.
Tonight, though something else strikes me and it is the second line of the quote above. “They did not understand what he said to them.”
I just came home from my first, ever political rally. Rick Santorum happened to be in East Peoria today and there was a rally for him not far from our house. Hubby and I decided to go and see what was up as neither of us had ever attended anything like that before. We were both a bit surprised by the obvious preparations for this rally. Firetrucks, emergency vehicles, police cars, vested officials directing traffic, TV cameras and media vehicles and equipment everywhere. It was a bit startling for someone who had never been to something like this.
During Rick’s speech, two things struck me (besides of course his speech which was excellent!). First of all, there was a young man there who pushed his way in front of me in the crowd and then stood right in front of me. Now, this guy was broader and taller than I was AND it became obvious quickly that he wasn’t there to support Santorum, but to heckle him. He had an I-pad and kept putting images on there like “occupy the streets” and many other slogans that he kept holding up. After a period of time, I decided to be polite and ask him to keep his arm down as he was blocking my view of the proceedings. He said to me that no one could see, so it didn’t really matter. I said, YES, it did! In fact, I could see very clearly until he had rudely pushed his way in front of me and then kept blocking the small ‘hole’ I was looking through to see the stage by raising his arm. When I challenged him on this, he backed down and after a bit, left. What struck me about this was the rudeness and blatant disregard for anyone else’s right to see what was going on so that he could do his own little political statement. Here was Santorum speaking on how our country has moved away from the core values that the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence iterated and this young man rudely showed just how far society has moved away from these basic core values of decency and politeness. It isn’t hard to see that this young man “did not understand what was said to him’ when and if he was ever taught the golden rule.
The second thing that struck me at this rally was the secret service crew. It struck me that it was truly sad that they even needed to be there. They were very much “on duty” scanning and watching the crowd (including the rude young man I already mentioned who they watched VERY closely). I realized that nothing really has changed over the years. In Jesus’ time, there were those who set out to silence Him, who were afraid of what He was saying. Just as tonight, there were those present who also wanted to silence the message that Santorum had for those willing to listen. Whether you believe that Santorum would be a good choice for president or not, the reality is that people nowadays just don’t want to listen. Tonight, rather than listen to what he had to say, many, like the rude young man mentioned earlier, were doing what they could to disrupt the gathering. Between signs, shouts, boos, etc – they tried to silence a man trying to share his vision. Is that what we are called to do as Christians? Silence those who we disagree with by causing a scene ourselves? Or should we be respectful of others as we want to be treated?
St. Joseph was a strong, quiet man who did what he was told by God and protected Mary and Jesus with his life. He was an honorable man. He was a courageous man. I especially pray for those like Santorum who are in the political arena. Being a courageous person, standing up for your beliefs and for what you believe God is calling you to do is not an easy thing. I pray that St. Joseph guides them – especially the one who will become our new president.