Ave Maria
Published in

Ave Maria

Kept and Pondered

On the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God

Starting off 2022, the Gospel reading brings us once more to the manger where Jesus was born. It was probably a dark and dirty place, where donkeys used by travelers are staying, along with some sheep.

Here, Luke gives us a glimpse of the visitors that came to see the Christ child: shepherds who were called by the angel and given the good news.

If there’s one thing to consider about how the shepherds acted upon hearing the news, it is that they acted in haste. They did not waste any time to rush to where Christ is. They immediately followed the angel’s instructions to pay homage to the savior who was born that night in Bethlehem, never mind where he was born.

Pay homage, they did, and even told Mary and Joseph of how they came to know of Jesus’ birth.

Here now shifts the focus towards Mary, who, despite knowing that she is carrying the Savior of the world, kept and reflected on everything that transpired. Her heart, mind, and soul chewed on every detail of that night: the circumstances, the events, the stories. Carrying and giving birth to the Emmanuel was not enough. She knew what she signed up for upon her fiat. She never ceased to ponder on everything, ensuring that she stays perfectly attuned to the will of God in all circumstances.

The shepherds, after paying homage, left the place glorifying and praising God. Yet Mary continued in her act of caring, reflecting, and pondering. Never mind if they were in a manger, never mind the circumstances of the birth. She kept everything that transpired and pondered on them. It is this keeping and reflecting, ensuring to stay attuned to God’s will, that allows Mary to carry a certain peace that also allows her to be fully aware of everything that is happening, yet still unperturbed, knowing that God’s will is more than enough.

And perhaps in this solemnity of Mary’s motherhood, we are reminded now, more than ever, of her actions, and of what we have all long abandoned: to constantly ponder of God in all things, times, and seasons. We have become so engrossed with information coming to us at the speed of light. We have been bombarded, at an overwhelming rate, of news bits and information from all fronts, without even having enough time to process it bit by bit. We’ve become so addicted to accumulating and absorbing these things ceaselessly that slowing down has become synonymous to being antiquated, backward, and left behind.

Yet Mary’s school of prayer is an indication of what is more important: of constant union and communion with God through thoughtful prayer and reflection. With Mary, we learn that peace within us is only possible through that constant reflection and prayer, of seeing and finding God in our daily things, no matter how small, simple, or mundane they may be.

It is also perhaps most providential that the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God is on the first day of the year, as Mary’s action is a most timely reminder of how we ought to act in our day to day, of how we ought to pray, of how we ought to live our lives in union and communion with God.

A blessed New Year to all.

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