So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.
In today’s Gospel, the figure of Mary stands out, of whom the Gospel says that she “treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Lk 2:19). Above all, Mary treasured everything in her heart. The verb to treasure translates the Greek verb syntēreō, which indicates the action of guarding something with care and attention as if it were a treasure. Mary kept everything in the treasure chest of her heart: everything she experienced — the easy and the difficult, the joyful and the painful, what she understood and that which was difficult to accept. Rebellion against reality is the first step toward the inability to change it.
“Mary welcomed reality as it presented itself to her, not as she would have liked it to be.” @silviojbaez #MotherOfGodTweet
Mary does not deny reality. Instead, she conserves it; she welcomes it as a treasure. The verb conserve means to save the past; it preserves gratitude. Memory becomes a tree filled with fruit, and the heart is transformed into an archive of grace. To preserve means being honest with reality, which is the first step toward the ability to change things and discover the Lord’s love in our lives.
At the same time, the Gospel says that Mary pondered. The verb ponder is a translation of the Greek verb symballō, which indicates the action of putting seemingly different and separate things together, creating relationships and new syntheses in one’s life. It wasn’t easy for Mary to hear angels singing up above and yet see a poor stable below, to believe in God Most High and yet welcome him as a helpless child in her arms.
“Mary turns adversity into a new opportunity and places things on a broader horizon without becoming paralyzed in the face of problems.” @silviojbaez #MotherOfGod
Mary ponders — she goes beyond the incomprehensible and trusts in God. Mary turns adversity into a new opportunity and places things on a broader horizon without becoming paralyzed in the face of problems. To ponder is the verb that saves the present and tomorrow. To ponder means finding the paths that lead to God, fellowship, and peace — both for today and tomorrow. To ponder means discovering the traces of the Lord’s love even in difficult and painful things. It means finding God’s love in the unforeseen and even in the contradictions of life.
The story of Jesus was written first in Mary’s heart because the story of any son is written first in his mother’s heart. May the Mother of God most holy help us on this first day of the year to begin again from the heart. May she teach us to treasure and ponder everything before God in the silence of prayer.
Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of Managua
Homily for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (excerpts)
1 January 2022
Translation from the Spanish text is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission.