… It is not until much later — when her twelve year old son remains behind in the temple, to be found after an agony of seeking — that the divine ‘otherness’ of that which stands at the center of her existence is revealed. (Luke: 2:41-50). To the certainty understandable reproach: “Son, why has thou done so to us? Behold, in sorrow thy father and I have been seeking thee,” the boy replies: “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” In that hour Mary must have begun to comprehend Simeon’s prophecy: “And thy own soul a sword shall pierce” (Luke 2:35). For what but the sword of God can it mean when a child in such a moment answers a disturbed mother with an amazed: “How is it that you sought me?” We are not suprised to read further down the page: “And they did not understand a word that he spoke to them.” Then directly: “And his mother kept all these things carefully in her heart.” Not understanding, she buries the words like precious seed within her. The incident is typical: the mother’s vision unequal to that of her son, but her heart, like chosen ground, is deep enough to sustain the highest tree.

Excerpt from “The Mother” – The Lord, by Romano Guardini.


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