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Solemnity of Mary: January 1, 2022

Luke 2: 16-21

By Rev. John Tran

Today marks the eighth day of our celebration of Christmas, the feast where we commemorate that the Son of God became a human being just like ourselves. And today, in a special way, we honor Mary, Jesus’ Mother. The gospel for today tells us what people said when they heard of the testimony of the shepherds: “And all who heard it were amazed at what had been told them by the shepherds. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.”

Christmas time often becomes a way to mark important things in our lives and in our families. We think of the first Christmas we had a job, the first Christmas we were married, the Christmas a family member is away at war, a child’s first Christmas, the Christmas spent at loved one’s bedside. We take pictures at Christmas and sent them to family and friends. Christmas time is a time to remember. By New Year’s we begin to gather up the memories of Christmas just past with family and friends. This may give us the chance to take a moment and see our relationships in ways we may not have realized before.

This brings us back to Mary and the things she reflected on in her heart. Think of how these memories and the realities they represented were a comfort to her as Jesus grew up and Joseph died. Think of the comfort they gave, the more Jesus embarked on his public ministry and was not so available to her. Think of how these memories held her up when Jesus came to his passion and horrible death.

We, too, have our memories of the Lord and his place in our lives. These we must spend time to treasure in our hearts. Remembering can be a powerful form of prayer, which allows us to discern the will of God in our lives as we struggle to make sense of the peaks and valleys we have to travel. Like any loving parent Mary replayed over and over again the events we also read about in the Christmas gospels, always trying to see the will of God as his ministry unfolded. That is our way also; to remember the events in Jesus birth, life, death and resurrection which give us meaning.

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