Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Pondering in her heart: The Divine Motherhood of Mary

     Today's feastday recalls to our minds a fundamental truth of our faith - the Divine Motherhood of Mary.  And to aid our reflection upon this truth we are presented with a picture of Mary listening attentively to what the shepherds were saying about her newborn son.  Luke tells us that Mary kept all the things she heard, "pondering them in her heart." 

      It is in this action of "pondering" that we see the nature of Mary's motherhood.  This pondering suggests something dynamic and active; it's more than a mere mental warehousing of words.  Mary keeps these things within herself.   In her humility, she receives and carries all the words of God - -  the words that the angel spoke to her, then the words with which the shepherds narrated what they had been told about the Child.   After giving birth she has not stopped bearing God's Word within her.

      Mary had received God's Word, bore it within her own womb and gave it birth - but her motherhood continues.  She wants to hold in her heart, like a mother holding a child in her arms, every word of love God desires to send her and entrusts to her care.  She ponders the seed of every mystery in her depths until it comes to life God's own time.

     It is for this reason that Mary in her motherhood has been described as the "inexhaustible vessel of memory" for the entire Church.  She knows most profoundly about all the events and feasts we celebrate.   The mysteries of Christ must be venerated through her eyes and her heart in order to understand them in their depths.

      The feast of the Mother of God, then, is not something sentimental; rather, it is the door through which we must enter in order to understand God's saving mysteries.  To place the year under the protection of Mary's motherhood means that we are asking her to guide us along the way of salvation; a way which she knows so well - for it is her son.