-- Lk 2:41-51
The finding of Jesus in the temple is the only event that breaks the silence of the Gospels about the hidden years of Jesus. Here Jesus lets us catch a glimpse of the mystery of his total consecration to a mission that flows from his divine sonship: "Did you not know that I must be about my Father's work?" Mary and Joseph did not understand these words, but they accepted them in faith. Mary "kept all these things in her heart" during the years Jesus remained hidden in the silence of an ordinary life.
-- CCC 534
Art: PIETRO ANNIGONI in 1961 for the church of that name in the pastoral care of the Claretian Missionaries (Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) in Hayes, Middlesex. The masterpiece measures 5½m x 3m. Mary is depicted as the strong Mother of Mankind. The child, sleeping peacefully on her arm, represents humanity undisturbed by the chaos of the world, shown in the blazing explosion of the background. Mary's foot crushes the serpent (Genesis 3:16). New branches spring from the dead log. The dove with an olive branch, symbol of peace, in its beak is alighting and the pylons and factories in the distance remind us of the industrial area in which the church is situated and that Mary too, like all of us, had to work...... 'by the sweat of your brow shall you eat bread' (Genesis 3:19).