Today's Gospel: Luke 2, 15-20 - Nativity of Our Lord
“And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” Is there a more tender and motherly passage in all the Scriptures? When a mother gives birth to her child, she sees in that child not just the immediate gift; but also sees the gift of who that child will become, what that child will do, how that child will grow and flourish in this world.
With this tension between the present time and the gaze into the future, it strikes me that the birth of a child is the perfect embodiment of hope in this world.
The meditations for Christmas Day reflect this tension, as well. We want to sit and meditate and comfort both the Christ Child and His Blessed Mother upon the birth of the King of the Jews; yet we also know that as He is now laid on the wood of the manger, He will eventually also be laid on the wood of the Cross.
Mary knows this. The gifts that will soon be brought by the Magi and the prophecies that will be given by Simeon and Anna both confirm what she knows in the depth of her heart and her soul. And she still treasures these gifts, reflecting on them in her heart.
Might Mary’s motherly heart be a reflection of the heart of every mother: to cherish the gifts that have been given, to treasure the hope of how those gifts will be fulfilled in the future, and to trust that God’s faithfulness will always prevail!
What gifts have been given to me over the last year? How have I both treasured them in my heart and helped to develop them for future fulfillment?
Heavenly Father, as Your Son is born into this world today anew, may He reign in the hearts and homes of all His faithful this coming year.
Copyright 2016 Fr. Kyle Schnippel
Fr. Kyle Schnippel was ordained to the priesthood in 2004 and now serves as pastor of two parishes in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. He can be found online at www.fatherschnippel.com or twitter.com/fatherschnippel.