Daily Reflection – 1/1/2121
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. (Luke 2:16-21)
God became one with us so that we might all become one with Him. This belief is at the heart of our Christian faith.
It is vital for our truest well-being that we remember who and what we are, from whom we come and to whom we go. We are children of our earthly parents certainly, we share in their nature, but we are more than that: we are also, as St John keeps reminding us, children of God and we share in His nature.
How easily we forget that! When we do, we diminish our dignity as human beings, we deprive ourselves of something of our humanity, we live less than fully human lives. It is so important for us to keep in mind who and what we are: we are children of God. It is Christ Jesus who has revealed this to us, and He did so, precisely by espousing our humanity when He was born of Mary of Nazareth.
If we hold on to that belief. If we internalize that belief. If we allow it to become the focal point of our lives then we can change our lives and the manner in which we live our lives.
We allow so many things – past experiences and future concerns – to intrude upon and disrupt the present. Some days these disturbing thoughts can totally destabilize us; they can make us feel febrile emotionally; they can lead us to be spiritually enfeebled. Our thoughts can depress us, our memories can torture us, our rumination over past hurts can sap away our energy, they can make us rot within (people talk of feeling rotten sometimes). Our thoughts matter! Our memories of past experiences and our projections into future fears can paralyze and poison our lives.
We must break free from the darker issues.
Today’s gospel provides us with an insight that can help us greatly. We read in Luke’s gospel: “As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.” What were the things Mary treasured? They were all the positive things the shepherds repeated of what they had been told about the child Jesus. They were the angel’s message to them, the chorus the whole host of heaven sang around them. The shepherds remembered and repeated (they clearly made their own) God’s word relayed to them about who the child Jesus was and what His mission would be. They had been told that they should not be afraid. They were assured that the One who was born was to be for them and for the whole world a source of great joy, that His message would be gospel (Good News) for everyone!
Mary’s mind and heart were filled with good thoughts, blessed feelings.
Mary shows us how thoughts about positive things, how looking to the light, welcoming it into our lives, paying heed to the word of God which comes to us in so many ways – including through those messengers God sends our way – can lift our spirits and give us the courage we need to take the steps forward that are required of us as we journey through life.
When we do as Mary did – when we hold all things concerning Christ in our hearts – then we take steps toward wholeness and well-being. Pondering the joy with the sorrow, the awesome with the awful, the gain with the pain, leads us to emotional and spiritual health. It contributes to that ongoing healing process we need to be experiencing in our lives. It is good for us to be reminded of this on this first day of the New Year
You and I . . . He is our light and salvation. May His light illume each day of the New Year!
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus Christ, I exalt your name above every other name. For in you I have pardon, mercy, grace and victory over sin and death. You humbled yourself for my sake and for the sake of all sinners by sharing in our humanity and by dying on the cross. Help me to live for your greater glory”.