MEDITATIONS FOR CATECHUMENS. THE YOUTHFUL JESUS

For youths, Thou didst become a youth,
that Thou mightest set them an example,
and sanctify them unto Thyself!

When Thou wast “twelve years old,” Thy
parents took Thee with them to Jerusalem.
There Thou didst for the first time enter the
temple. Then Thou didst become a “Son
of the Law.” Then it is again beautifully
written of Thee, in almost the same words
before spoken concerning Thine infancy:
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and sta-
ture, and in favor with God and man!” St.
Luke ii. 52.

In this be Thou my example, Lord Jesus.

A lovely youth is Thine, Lord Jesus.
When Thy parents returned from Jerusa-
lem, Thou didst tarry behind in the holy
city. Charmed with the temple, Thou didst
linger among its sacred beauties. Stronger
than parental love were the drawings of Thy
Father. Thy parents lost Thee, but God’s
holy temple preserved Thee.

Not in the world wast Thou lost, but in
the temple. No curiosities of the streets, no
allurements in places of vain amusement and
folly detained Thee. The glory of the sanc-
tuary enchained Thy youthful heart.

In this be Thou my example, Lord Jesus.

Among the wise in the temple Thou didst
chose to sit. Wisdom had a charm for Thee.
Sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hear-
ing them, and asking them questions. First
He hears, then asks. He that hears gathers.
I must first hear, then ask, then teach.
Lord Jesus, give me earnestness to seek, hu-
mility to learn, and piety to practice, wis-
dom.

This I may do by imitating Thy example,
Lord Jesus.

Jesus the youth! Twelve years old. He
still increased in “stature.” Tender in
body, and undeveloped in mind. His young
and susceptible being was charmed by the
beauty of the sanctuary, and pleased to learn
of its teachers!

In this be Thou my example. Lord Jesus.

He increased in wisdom! In Thy divinity
Thou wast Thyself the fullness of wisdom,
but in our nature Thou didst grow in wis-
dom like one of us. Thy divinity was not
lost when Thou didst assume our nature; it
was only limited and shaded by the laws of
our human life. O merciful condescension
to our infirmities, that Thou mightest in all
things be our pattern! Lord Jesus, Thou
didst increase in wisdom; how much greater
is my need! As Thou dost encourage me
by Thy example, assist me also by Thy
grace.

Beautiful youth of Jesus! In favor with
God and man Thou didst increase. O charm
me with Thy lovely youthful life. From the
temptations and sins of youth, Lord Jesus
deliver me. Possess me by Thy Holy Spirit,
that I may seek Thee early, and devote all
the tenderness and vigor of my youthful life
to Thy blessed service.

To Thee I now solemnly devote myself as
a Catechumen! Hear my vow, Lord Jesus!
and assist me, by Thy grace, to keep it unto
the end.

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