And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. (Luke 2:19)
When I realized I wanted to post something about Mary during Advent I knew I’d have to avoid the temptation to repost this, something I wrote a year ago:
At times lost in all of the celebration of Christmas is the human drama of Motherhood. Of Mary. This young teenaged Jewish girl who in a short amount of time became betrothed to an older, good man in Joseph; spoke her fiat before the angel Gabriel when he appeared to her out of nowhere, telling her of her destiny; felt her baby inside stir when she met with her much older, elderly cousin Elizabeth (herself pregnant with the babe that would grow to be John the Baptist). Surely these events must have sent the mind of this girl swimming in confusion and doubt. In the midst of this she and Joseph find themselves leaving Nazareth for Bethlehem in order to abide by a census decree, and well…you know the rest.
You can read the rest of it if you’d like, but I encourage you to read and consider the words of William Freburger below, particularly to meditate on his second paragraph.
Luke’s Gospel account of the Christmas event is full of activity. And yet, in the middle of the frenetic action, here is this woman wrapped in mystical silence. She demonstrates the necessity of a quiet place within ourselves at Christmastime—that place where we are most ourselves in relation to God.
It is a place of silence, not because it is untouched by all the activity of our lives, but because it is capable of wonder. Every prayer begins with silent wonder before it turns to words. Our first response to God is dumbstruck awe at who he is and what he has done for us.
—William Frebuger, “Making Christmas a Saving Event.” Catholic Update (Dec. 1985)