In Luke 2: 19 we are told that “Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart…”
From the moment the Angel appeared to her, Mary demonstrates a trust and a courage to follow God and to do his will, in the midst and in the messiness of real life. I wonder if she knew the bigger picture of what she was saying yes to, during that encounter with the Angel Gabriel? And yet, her response was to give her all to God – to place her life into his hands, in order to bear new life. It was a moment of grace that she did not let slip away.
Mary is sometimes called the “Theotokos” – literally the “God-bearer” or “Mother of God”. She is shown in many icons as pointing the way to Jesus – and this became her role – to guide us to her son, which she did so graciously throughout her earthly life and continues to do today.
So, when we contemplate the sight of Mary in the nativity scene, whilst we can get sometimes distracted by her “piety”, her holiness – let us remember the great challenges and risks she faced by saying her “yes” to God’s gift of life within her. She must have felt scared, humanly speaking. She must have wondered, as she looked at this new-born, what it all meant.
But yet, the simple trust of Mary is what shines through. We see this in the way that she is depicted in many nativity scenes cradling her son or gazing at him so gently.
Somewhere within, she recognised the enormity of what her “yes” meant for the world. Just like all mothers, her basic task was to love this little babe in the best way she could, gradually shaping him – nurturing him – for such the time where he would step out into the world and continue his Father’s mission. Her motherhood – her “yes” – was a transformative moment in our story.
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of your Mother, Mary
and for her willingness to give her all to doing God’s will.
Lord, do I listen as Mary did and take time to ponder you in my heart?
Do I take time to reflect on the life of Mary and invite her,
as I pray, to draw me closer to her son?
Help me, Lord, to be ready – with open eyes and an open heart –
to do your will and follow you.