Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Mary at the Circumcision of Jesus

Eight days ago, we were celebration the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1: 14). Today, the church is inviting us to follow the new born Jesus to the Temple. There, he will go through the rite of circumcision. It is not only physical (Jesus was physically circumcised), but also spiritual (Jesus surrendered to the will of the Father).
But at that event, His mother, Mary also circumcised herself by submitting to the will of the Father. She circumcised her heart by not occupying it with worldly desires and passions and by occupying it with meditation on the words of God.

Mary teaches us how to draw to Jesus. What is this lesson that she offers?
Saint Luke gives us a beautiful answer in his Gospel. He writes: “And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart” (2:19), and tells us yet again: “and his mother kept all these things in her heart” (2:51b). On these two separate occasions—the presentation of Jesus in the temple as an infant, and finding Him there as a twelve-year-old child after searching for three days—Mary reacts to the mysteries of God in the same way. She reflects. She ponders. She keeps all these things in her heart.

What things? The angel Gabriel’s words. Her cousin Elizabeth’s words. The shepherds’ words. The Old Testament words about the Messiah’s coming. Every developing event, every new word.
Each time, she would arrange the pieces anew, placing the various elements in fresh configurations.

Today she would, perhaps, place the shepherds’ words beside a passage from an Old Testament prophet. Tomorrow she might place the shepherds’ words beside the words of Gabriel. On the next day, she might consider the shepherds’ words as they related to Elizabeth’s greeting.

We also must try to find a time and place, even in the midst of this noisy world, to meditate, to surrender to the will of God. “Yes, Father Thierry, I know all that, but how do I know that it’s God talking to me”? My answer to that question is always, “because you are too noisy; when you are talking, God can’t talk”. Keep quiet and you will hear God speaking to you as clear as the day. Pondering and meditating lead to hearing, and hearing the voice of God. A wise person doesn’t talk too much. He listens a lot, ponders a lot, and talks less.

Mary reverently held each word to the light and compared it with the other treasures in her bag.
Paul exhorts us to let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God (Col. 3:16).
Why? Because when the word of God dwells in us over the years or over time, it flows over and touches others. You can’t help it, but go proclaim what God has revealed to you in your time of pondering and meditating.

Pondering leads to proclamation  
Mary didn’t just ponder. After some time, she carried the Good News of the Incarnation to others. Just after the Annunciation narrative, we read that Mary “set out and traveled to the hill country in haste” to tend to her pregnant cousin Elizabeth (1:39). Mary’s life of contemplation filled her with a desire to share with others the divine mysteries that had been revealed to her, so that they, too, might become people whose souls “proclaim the greatness of the Lord” (1:46b).
“The shepherds made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning the child”…”And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.”

Mary teaches us to seek the face of Christ in all aspects of life, whether in the radiant light of joyful moments or in the darkness of sorrow and death, and even in the midst of our doubt or confusion, to continue open ourselves up to profound trust by pondering all things in our hearts. As we contemplate with our Mary the mysteries of her Son, she becomes for us “a means of learning;” she teaches us “to ‘read’ Christ, to discover his secrets and to understand his message”, so that we may then share that message with all people.

Please don’t forget our challenge this year: everyone is required to (1) bring one person to Jesus and (2) bring one person to our church.

I pray that the word of God may richly dwell in you and transform your lives to become the light that will shine in the darkness all those around you.

Happy New year!
Fr. Thierry
Peace and blessings!
"For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay??? (Habakkuk 2:3).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog (news and archives)

(Check out our new site)