Homily: Continuing To Be Amazed

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

Well, it’s over. The carols are gone from the air waves. The stores have dismantled their decorations?. I was at the pharmacy yesterday and saw that Christmas has been put away to make room for Valentine’s Day.

It always happens so fast. We waited and waited for Christmas, and then it came and went in a flash. But it did not happen like that for Mary; and we cannot afford to let it happen like that for us. She kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart—and so must we.

All who heard the shepherds were amazed at the story they had to tell. It was Mary who kept turning the events over and over in her mind, trying to plumb the depths of their meaning. From the moment of the angel’s unbelievable declaration, she realized that for the rest of her days she would be living with mystery. And so she kept all these things in her heart.

St. Paul reminds us that because Jesus was born of a woman, we are made children of God. The Spirit of Jesus is given to us so that we can call God by the intimate term “Abba.” Is this any less amazing than the report of the shepherds? Yet, when was the last time any one of us went in haste to announce this wonderful Good News?

The first day of the New Year is traditionally a day to pray for peace. This year, peace is much more than a seasonal theme. It might conjure up the faces of frightened children dressed in foreign garb, or that of a daughter or son or other relative in uniform. Making the prayer of Aaron our own, we beg God to look upon us kindly and give us peace. Here again, Mary may well serve as our model. She considered deeply the events of her life. So must we, if peace is to take root in our day and take flesh in our lives. Happy New Year.

Dianne Bergant, C.S.A., is biblical studies professor at Catholic  Theological Union in Chicago.  

                     Printed in America Magazine




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