Thursday, January 1, 2015

What saint's love for God can match Mary's?

“Catholics are frequently criticized because of the prominence and respect given to the Virgin Mary while simultaneously condemned for not giving enough prominence and respect to women.”

Gospel Text: (LK 2:16-21)
The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph,
and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this,
they made known the message
that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed
by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things,
reflecting on them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God
for all they had heard and seen,
just as it had been told to them.

When eight days were completed for his circumcision,
he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel
before he was conceived in the womb.

Today on the octave of Christmas we celebrate Mary. We celebrate Mary because God chose her from all women of all time to be God’s own mother -- Jesus is Son of God and the son of Mary!  But we celebrate Mary not only because she conceived and bore Jesus but also because she is Jesus’ most faithful  disciple — and our model for following Jesus. 

The Gospel invites us to contemplate Jesus’ birth:  shepherds responding to angels and rushing to Bethlehem and beholding Mary and Joseph and Jesus lying in a manger. 

We contemplate the scene with Mary: "And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on
them in her heart." 

Mary teaches us that being a disciple of Jesus means keeping Jesus in the center of
our hearts and allowing Jesus' presence to guide all the thoughts, words and actions
of our lives. 

From birth to death Mary pondered Jesus! 

So, here on this New Year's Day as the world turns to a new chapter, we, in the
contemplative spirit of Mary, have the opportunity to make peace with all the
events-good and bad-of the past year, to remember God's abiding love for us—come
what may, and to turn to a New Year with hope and trust.

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