Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Jan. 1, 2015: Solemnnity of Mary, Mother of God

Let’s begin with a question: What is one bit of advice/wisdom that your mother told you when you were younger? Some of the favorite answers are:
Don’t Leave The House With A Wet Head.
When you grow up I hope you have ten kids just like you.
Wear clean underwear, because you never know when you’ll be in an accident.
On a more serious note, your mom might have said:
People are more important than material things.
Give and receive forgiveness freely.

Learn and grow from your mistakes.  Persevere even when circumstances are difficult.
I believe we should add to this list the lesson that Blessed Mother teaches us in today’s Gospel: Ponder everything.

Over a course of a week or a year, we find ourselves in situations that are confusing to us, situations that are hardships for us, or situations where a difficult decision needs to be made. What should be our first step? For Blessed Mother, when the shepherds and magi came to adore the Child Jesus in the manger, she “treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart (Luke 2:19). When boy Jesus was lost for three days and then found in the Temple, Blessed Mother “treasured all these things in her heart” (Luke 2:51). She was a woman who valued the word of God, who treasured it and made time to meditate and ponder it. She accepted that what was at work in her Son was a mystery she could never understand, but she took all these things in and reflected on them quietly within herself. In essence, she made an effort in order to discern what God was saying to her at every stage in her life as the servant of God. How often do we encounter something that we do not understand, and then either reject it or arrogantly try to reduce it to terms capable of human understanding?

Whether we acknowledge it or not, our pilgrimage of faith has been inseparably linked to Blessed Mother guidance. When the faith of the disciples was most tested by difficulties and uncertainties, Jesus entrusted them to His mother, who was the first to believe, and whose faith would never fail. From the Cross, the disciples and all God’s children were joined to his mother as he said: “Behold your Mother!” From that moment on, the Mother of God also became our Mother.  As Pope Francis said, “this ‘woman’ became our Mother when she lost her divine Son. Her sorrowing heart was enlarged to make room for all men and women, all, whether good or bad, and she loves them as she loved Jesus.” The Mother of Our Lord goes before us and continually strengthens us in faith, in our vocation, and in our mission. By her example of humility and openness to God’s will she helps us to transmit our faith in a joyful proclamation of the Gospel to all, without reservation.

How can we better listen and ponder what God is telling us as did Blessed Mother? In this new year are we willing to set aside time for prayer where we ponder and listen to God? Prayer is a conversation with God but sometimes all we do is pick up the “phone”, read out the list of our problems to God and drop the “phone” without listening to hear what God has to say to us. Let us today resolve to listen more to the voice of God, to treasure God's word and ponder it in our hearts. Then shall we be able to realize our new year’s resolution of a new life in union with God.