Recently, I heard the fifth joyful mystery announced by a different voice, and something struck me: Mary and Joseph found Jesus in the temple, sitting among the teachers, asking questions and dialoguing. In reflecting on this, it struck me how someone recently told me about their frustrations with Catholics who don’t question things, with Catholics who just accept the Will of the Church (when they said it, it was capitalized like that, I’m certain), with Catholics who don’t challenge the status quo. I was a little puzzled, but then, I am a convert so I started my journey by questioning and searching for answers. In my studies of Church doctrine and teachings, I have found that the more I learn, the more liberated I am. In learning about Natural Family Planning and God’s design for marriage, for example, I have only discovered the joy of my womanhood and the identity of myself as a person within my marriage, as opposed to my duties as an object of my desires.
Jesus was there in the Temple, asking questions. We are called to be like Jesus, and in that case, doesn’t that mean we should find ourselves in the Church, asking questions? Doesn’t that mean that we are following our Lord and Savior when we ask the hard questions and seek the difficult answers to the issues of the day? Doesn’t that mean we are doing exactly what we’re supposed to be doing when we chew over the bad-tasting topics and reflect on many angles of any given idea?
It also means, though, that we have to accept the authority of the Church. It’s in no way to detract from those who trust with faith alone and who don’t question. No, the real ah-ha for me in all of this was in finding that perhaps I am being like Jesus when I ask and question and seek answers.