January 01, 2020 (Wednesday) - To Ponder - A Reflection on Luke 2:16-21

So (the shepherds) went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Do you worry? Sure you do. Now what is worry? It is thinking about something troublesome over and over again until you lose your health, your sleep, your peace of mind and sometimes even your sanity. You want a quick fix? Do the same thing but thinking about the word of God instead. Think about it over and over again and you will become healthy, you will get good sleep, you will obtain peace of mind and if you’ve lost it, you will regain your sanity. 

Therefore, if you know how to worry, you know how to meditate. Don’t worry, meditate! This is what Mary did very well, and it accounts in no small measure for the person that she was —so full of grace. In today’s reading, we see that she sees the wonderful things of God happening all around her — the birth of her son, the things the shepherds were telling her, so much else — and she treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.

We find another instance when she does the same thing. After a visit to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover, Jesus goes missing and after three days his parents find him in the temple. When they ask him why he did this, “he said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them” (Luke 2:49-50). And then Scripture says, “His mother treasured all these things in her heart” (Luke 2:51b).

We have to realize that Mary didn’t understand much of what was happening around her. Her entire world had turned upside down since an angel appeared to her, and since then, her life consisted of one dramatic event after another. And not all was good. In fact, a lot of what happened was terrible. Remember the flight into Egypt to escape the slaughter of infant by Herod? Now here’s the question for us to ponder: how would we have reacted to events like that? Probably with great worry,

Mary reacted differently. She pondered these things in her heart, with the same wonderment she felt when the angel came to her. She meditated. She didn’t need Paul to tell her “that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). She knew it and believed it. We, too, are called to ponder the things that happen to us within our hearts and trust that they will change our lives even if we do not always understand what’s happening.

So, let us meditate, not worry this year. And we will find ourselves as blessed as Mary was. Happy New Year!