IT was a refreshing message that Pope Francis delivered on the New Year's vespers Mass at the St. Peter Basilica. It was about pondering, about keeping quiet.
The whole year last year, people were angry, ranting on social media on just about anything. From politics to work to personal problems to strangers unlucky enough to have crossed someone (another stranger) who posted what happened on Facebook, and then just before the year ended, firemen. Supposedly far away from what is happening, even clueless about the real score, people become experts and spew out anger at just about anybody and anything.
"Only one thing is said about the Mother of God: 'Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart' (Lk 2:19). She kept them. She simply kept; Mary does not speak. The Gospel does not report a single word of hers in the entire account of Christmas," Pope Francis said in his homily.
Imagine yourself, the Mother of God having begotten His only Son, and yet, you kept quiet and just pondered. Are we even like that? No.
In that moment of birth, Jesus is but an infant who is unable to speak, while Mary pondered in silence in the manger because there was no room to be found.
"That silence tells us that, if we would 'keep' ourselves, we need silence. We need to remain silent as we gaze upon the crib. Pondering the crib, we discover anew that we are loved; we savour the real meaning of life. As we look on in silence, we let Jesus speak to our heart. His lowliness lays low our pride; his poverty challenges our outward display; his tender love touches our hardened hearts. To set aside a moment of silence each day to be with God is to 'keep' our soul; it is to 'keep' our freedom from being corroded by the banality of consumerism, the blare of commercials, the stream of empty words and the overpowering waves of empty chatter and loud shouting," the Pope said.
Apparently, the Pope, too, has noticed that we have allowed anger and noise and everything that are a vexation to the spirit to rule our everyday lives. He is now calling on the Catholic faithfuls to shut the stream of empty words and overpowering waves of empty chatter and loud shouting.
The Pope then shares the secrets of the Mother of God: "Silently treasuring all things and bringing them to God."
"We 'keep' things when we hand them over: by not letting our lives become prey to fear, distress or superstition, by not closing our hearts or trying to forget, but by turning everything into a dialogue with God. God, who keeps us in his heart, then comes to dwell in our lives," Pope Francis said.
Ponder on his words and let not our hatred against all those who view things different from us carry over to 2018.