Sunday, January 1, 2012

Mary, Mother of God
January 1, 2012
In the gospel account of the birth of Christ there lies a simple sentence that is a package of amazing treasure.  It is not about the shepherds who were at the stable.  It is about Mary, Mother of God, whom we honor on January 1st each year.

And Mary treasured all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.

Apparently Mary said very little on that sacred night.  Another translation is "Mary pondered these things in her heart."  Today and for the next few days each of us might ponder some of the message that Mary in her silence gives to us each January 1st.  Luke reports that the shepherds were there but seemingly left rather quickly to tell others of what they heard in the Bethlehem manger.  The news was such Good News that they could not keep the "news" to themselves.  But for Mary seeming silence was the better part of a response to what is a pivotal point for all Christianity.

Gift giving is another pivotal moment of Christmas.  There were no "Christmas trees" in the stable.  There were no ribboned gifts anywhere in the stable.  So, one might ask why St Luke notes that Mary reflected upon "all these things".  Surely we can only imagine what must have passed through her heart and mind as the child she had delivered was, as the angel Gabriel had told her, the Son of God.  Consider if you will, at this closing of the first day of the year, Mary's reflecting is her Christmas gift to us in addition to her divine Son.

Furthermore, consider this:  Child Jesus is giving each person a gift on the annual celebration of his birthday.  The gift is a personal gift that can be understood only when one does what Mary did:  ponder about the special gift that Jesus has given you for the year 2012.  You might be surprised by that thought.  However, unless there is time to ponder what "gift is Jesus offering me new year" during these early days of the year during which quiet and a genuine effort to be present to Jesus with an open heart are essential.

In the pondering quiet you may hear Jesus saying to you what God has in mind for you in the 12 months ahead.  He knows what you need most for yourself and he know what you need most to give to others.

Take the time and most importantly write down for yourself what you believe Jesus' gift for you is and how you will use it for yourself and others.  There are very few people who receive gifts and leave them unopened.  Your writing to yourself what you believe the gift is only to be found by pondering and recording for yourself what "messages" come to your heart.

May the year 2012 be for you and your loved ones a time that is abundant with good health and even some financial assistance but most specially a year when you set aside time to learn more about your faith.