Gospel Reflection – Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God – January 1st 2017
I would like to wish all readers of this blog a blessed and peaceful 2017!
The shepherds hurried away and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about him, and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds had to say. As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; it was exactly as they had been told.
When the eighth day came and the child was to be circumcised, they gave him the name Jesus, the name the angel had given him before his conception.
Mary is presented at Christmas as the one who pondered. She heard much that puzzled her. In the message of the shepherds, gifts of the Magi, and maybe the odd conversation with Joseph when they wondered about their child and what would happen to him.
Her pondering led to wondering. It must have tried her faith but never left her without faith. She is a model of faith for today when faith leaves many questions. Pope Francis says: ‘in this quest to seek and find God in all things there is still an area of uncertainty. There must be. If one has the answers to all the questions—that is the proof that God is not with him. Our life is not given to us like an opera libretto, in which all is written down; but it means going, walking, doing, searching, seeing.’ (Interview 2013).
We can question much about God but it is best if it leads us to wondering about him. The person who can wonder never gets tired of life and known that in wondering together we find life for the mind and soul.
We find nourishment for ourselves in our capacity to wonder and be amazed. Christmas can do this for us. Family memories, gathering with friends, Christmas prayer can open us to new love and new faith. If we can do this for a day, can we do it for the year?
Come to birth Lord Jesus and help me to enjoy wonder and amazement at your coming.
Donal Neary SJ
Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger
Gospel Reflections for Sundays of Year A: Matthew, Messenger Publications 2016, €9.99
Order online at www.messenger.ie, or in Veritas and other booksellers.