MARY INVITES US TO BE LIKE HER
(A biblical refection on THE SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD – Friday, 1 January 2016)
Gospel Reading: Luke 2:16-21
First Reading: Numbers 6:22-27; Psalms: Psalm 67:2-3,5-6,8; Second Reading: Galatians 4:4-7
And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this Child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
And at the end of eight days when He was circumcised, He was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. (Luke 2:16-21 RSV)
Not long after Mary wrapped up her newborn Baby boy and laid Him down to sleep, shepherds burst into the place where she and Joseph were staying. They brought a report of angels who had announced the birth of the Messiah. In the midst of her tender, motherly care for her infant, Mary gave close attention to the shepherds’ words and continued to ponder them after they had left. Distilled in her quiet, reflective spirit, the event became a precious treasure to her, and as she meditated on God’s action, she grew to maturity.
Today we begin a new year, and Mary begins it with us. She has reflected with all of humanity as it has made its way through the two thousand years since the birth of her Son. How much more treasure she has in her heart now! Mary has shared these treasures with us, especially during this past century through remarkable appearances. And in each place her message is the same: “Turn from sin and give your hearts to Jesus.” Where did Mary get such clarity, and the love to proclaim it so effectively? From a quiet, pondering heart – from a heart that compels her to share with us the message of her Son: “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:15).
Just as Mary pondered, asked questions, and humbly submitted her life to the Holy Spirit, she now invites us to be like her, to take on a quiet, prayerful, obedient attitude toward God. This is how we too will be able to bear Christ into the world.
Sisters and Brothers, why don’t we make a resolution to treasure the Gospel during the year 2016? This can be a time of tremendous grace for us, as we give the Lord our time and attention by reading His word. Let’s us ponder the scriptures, reflect on them in our hearts. Let the Holy Spirit work deeply in our lives. Like Mary, we (you and I) can become beautiful vessels of God.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, come into my life deeply and powerfully this year. Fill me with Jesus and His words, as you filled Mary. Help me to live and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Jakarta, 30 December 2015
A Christian Pilgrim