Mary, Mother of Contemplation

Solemnity of Mary Mother of God
World Day of Prayer for Peace

Numbers 6:22-27; Galatians 4:4-7; Luke 2:16-21

The gospel readings for our celebration of today’s Solemnity and this past Sunday’s Feast of the Holy Family include these similar phrases:

And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

…and his mother kept all these things in her heart” (Luke 2:51b).

Giving birth in a manger and hearing the testimony of the shepherds about their experience of angels announcing and singing the glories the birth of Jesus and 12 years later hearing the son she feared lost testifying that he must be in his Father’s house (the Temple in Jerusalem) were experiences that took Mary time to absorb and understand. Over time, she did, continuing to be his mother while also becoming his first disciple.

Experiences and memories form us for good and sometimes for ill. They are the cause of joy and peace as well as sadness and anger. Some we hold onto and others we hope will go away.

Mary kept and reflected on her experiences of Jesus in her heart. She contemplated the mystery of the Incarnation as it unfolded before her. Later it was the Paschal Mystery.

In our “plugged in” culture, we run the risk of being overstimulated by sights, sounds and information. In that state, it is hard to think clearly or to really think at all. Instead we react.

Mary reminds us of the need for time, space and silence. What experiences do we need to keep and reflect on in our hearts? Where is Jesus, the Word made flesh, alive or where do we need to bring the life that comes through him? As we and our world experience suffering and death, where and to whom do we look for the hope of resurrection?

Mary, Queen of Peace, Mother of God and Mother of Contemplation, pray for us! –JC