THE Gospel of Luke (2:16-21) says: So they came hurriedly, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. On seeing him they related what they had been told about the child, and all were astonished on hearing the shepherds.
As for Mary, she treasured all these words, and pondered them in her heart.
On a personal note – Mary treasured all these words (v. 19), because every event of her life was for her the way God revealed his plans to her, and all the more so now that she was living with Jesus. She wondered, marveled but was not confused, because her faith was beyond wavering. However, she too had to discover the ways of salvation slowly and painfully. She pondered on these things until the time of the Resurrection and Pentecost when all the words and deeds of Jesus became clear.
Mary and Joseph went to the temple to fulfill a ritual of the Jewish religion (Lev. 12:8). Jesus being a firstborn male must be consecrated to God (Ex. 13:1).
Simeon and Anna like Mary and Joseph belong to the “small remnant of Israel”. This minority of God’s people live their faith in humility and faithfulness to the prophets’ teaching: God knows how to make himself known to them.
What is the meaning of the sword that will pierce Mary’s soul? It indicates Mary’s grief upon seeing her Son die on the cross. It also signifies that Mary will suffer because she will not always understand what her Son does. The best-shared love will not prevent each from remaining a mystery of the other, and more so for God than for anyone else. God does not watch our fidelity from heaven, but rather seeks us (he tries us in the sense of asking us to reveal ourselves). The love of the Father will be Mary’s cross just as it would be for Jesus.
Christ is God’s light which enlightens people, but which also blinds and confuses them at times. He is a signs that is opposed, but this is a mystery – those who oppose him are not always the worst. There are more people who believe in Christ, but do not follow him. Unable to see his light they do not know that it condemns them. There are good people who do not believe because God will that they seek the light their whole life long.
On a another personal note – This oldest feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary celebrates the mystery of her being the Mother of Jesus Christ, true God and true Man. It is the principle feat of Mary, because her divine Motherhood is the reason why she received the special privileges of Immaculate Conception and Assumption into heaven. Mary is the Mother of Christ and the Mother of the Church.
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