January 2, 2018 by eneubauer
I couldn’t help being moved on Monday during the mass celebrating the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. When the Gospel was read I couldn’t stop thinking about its meaning.
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.
It was as if I experienced a mini Lecto Divina. Three phrases from the Gospel immediately jumped out and spoke to me (highlighted in the text above). I couldn’t stop thinking about them. So, instead of pushing the “message” away I began meditating on these phrases while asking for illumination around their meaning for me in this moment. A great way to begin 2018.
I am reminded that one consistent message or action of the Blessed Virgin Mary is to point humanity back to Jesus. She wants all to come into the loving arms of Jesus and experience reconciliation, grace and the love of her Son. When the shepherds heard the message from the angel regarding Jesus they did not delay but moved “in haste” to meet Him, Mary and Joseph. Awestruck, they beheld the presence of Jesus, God in flesh. I kept thinking about how important whole, intact families are for the future of humanity. I also thought about new year “resolutions” so many of us make and realized a key to keeping them is staying close to the source of our strength. He will help each of us remain faithful to those resolutions we were inspired to make. Today, let’s resolve to move “in haste” to the side of the Savior and join Mary, Joseph, and the Holy Innocents as they intercede for us and the whole world.
They Made Known:
Not only did they move in haste but they also proclaimed the message they received from the Angel concerning Jesus. It wasn’t out of duty, nor because they took a class on evangelization that the shepherds spoke “the message.” Once they learned the message, understood its implications (divine revelation), their hearts were full and they couldn’t hold it back. It was as if their team just won the last game before the Super Bowl. They were pumped and moved immediately to speak of that (victory) which was spoken to them through the Angel. Remember when Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI called the Catholic faithful during the Year of Faith to the New Evangelization. He wanted us to be prepared to accompany those individuals, upon hearing “the message” through the doors of faith. In 2018 let’s follow in the footsteps of the shepherds and share with excitement the message we have heard, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The blind see, the lame walk and the deaf hear again. If you look around it is a message many are looking for. They are just awaiting an invitation from you…
And Mary, kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. If we can grasp ahold of this one our lives will be forever changed. In our current culture we are bombarded daily by noise. In constant connection to the internet, technology has made disconnecting and entering into a quite place difficult if not impossible. We have to be vigilant in 2018 to maintain space in our daily routine for quiet, the absence of distracting noise and disconnected from the internet. We have to help our children disconnect as well. Because, our ability to connect with Jesus once we find ourselves at his side will be contingent on our ability to hear him. To hear the still quite voice of the Holy Spirit whispering to our hearts / minds the wisdom of God. The message of love. The wisdom of the one who holds the world in his hand. We need time to reflect on Jesus, the Gospel and pray. We desperately need quiet.
Have a wonderful new year. I am praying for you.