The baby lying in the manger bears the name Jesus and is Mary’s Son. He calls us to hold dear all that we hear and see about him.
The Savior of the world shows he is as though no one and nothing as just a child (SV.EN VI:170). A baby, yes, like other babies that mothers wrap in bands of cloth, yet lying in a manger. And one can see that those who gaze on him with love cannot but share what they have seen and heard, and spread it to others. For these, in turn, find amazing what they have heard. But Mary does not just listen. She also does hold dear “all these things” and reflect on them in her heart.
And she shines as the model for the whole Church of one who listens best of all, and welcomes and does the Word. This means that the Mother of God is the Mother, too, of the Church. She shows us how to hold dear, and reflect on in our hearts, all we see and hear about Jesus. And to do as she is to have intimate ties with Jesus (Lk 8, 20; 11, 27-28).
This tight oneness, pact, of course, does not have to do with the “circumcision of the flesh” but with “the circumcision of the heart.” For what counts is to listen to God and to be true to what he says and teaches. And to be true, it is not enough to let go of a bit of our flesh. We have to let go of our whole flesh and blood, as Jesus who dies and thus gives us life (SV.EN I:276). It only through this way to let go that we can say that the name of Christian fits us.
To hold dear and reflect
For all these reasons, yes, it is good not just to listen. We also have to hold dear all that we see and hear about Jesus, and reflect on it in our hearts. Those who do so, show that they are in awe of what God makes known.
And blessings are plenty for them. God’s deeds of wonder wound them, pierce the way they think and act. Hence, the new and amazing that God brings about can get in. They get to know, too, not to do as the apes. And to keep in mind and live in their own way the “joy and confusion, happiness and worry” that are part of Christmas.
Besides, the woman who, in the fulness of time, has given birth to God’s Son, draws them. And they become available as she. She shares the joy of the groom and the bride, for instance, and also Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross. Yes, happy are those who hold dear “all these things” and reflect on them in their hearts. For God tells and shows them what he wants them to be and do in their own way (SV.EN XII:82).
Lord Jesus, make us like your mother, always ready to listen, and taking time to hold dear God’s words and reflect on them in her heart.
1 January 2023
Holy Mary, Mother of God
Num 6, 22-27; Gal 6, 4-7; Lk 2, 16-21