I received an insight during my Rosary meditation a few days ago that I thought I would share. On the last of the Joyful Mysteries, it occurred to me what Jesus was doing teaching the elders in the Temple at age 12. He was proclaiming the kingdom -- fulfilling His mission as He had been sent here to do.
But it wasn't the right time. At age 13, a Jewish boy reached the age of maturity and took on the responsibilities of an adult member of the community. But it was not until age 30 that a Levite became an active member of the Temple roster. In other words, a man became a priest at age 30. (There's double symbolism in the fact that Jesus wasn't of the tribe of Levi, though his cousin John the Baptist was, but instead of the tribe of Judah who were traditionally the kings and leaders of the Hebrews. So Jesus was both Priest and King, God and Sacrifice.) The Levites were teachers and explained the Torah when it was publicly read. Jesus began his ministry at an age when He would be respected. He was fully God from the start of His life, and knew the mysteries of the universe as well as His future. He must have been eager to do God's will, to get out there and preach to the lost flock of Israel.
But it wasn't the right time. God sent His parents, especially His mother, Mary, to
remind Him that He was still a child under their direction. When they took Him from the Temple, "Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them." (Luke 2:51)
He waited for the right time. That's what I need to do, too. I can't rush things because I want them now, even if I want them for the "right" reasons. All things happen in their proper time. I must trust that God knows best and follow Him. I must take direction from the people in my life whom God has gifted me as guides and partners.
I'm hearing very clearly from several sides: Not now. I'm hearing clearly: Trust Me.
I want to cry "Then when?" but that's not the right response. My response must be to return home (to God) and be obedient. Strengthen me, oh Lord, and guide me.