(The shepherds) went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in the manger; once they saw, they understood what had been told them concerning this child. All who heard of it were astonished at the report given them by the shepherds. Mary treasured all these things and reflected on them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen… Luke 2:16-21
The shepherds, when hearing the Good News, hurried to see the new baby. Now, remember that shepherds were the poor of rural society. The rich and well-educated thought of them as outcasts. Yet, it was to the shepherds that the angels announced the Good News.
The Messiah was announced to the lowly, the poorest in society. These humble ones heard the message, ran to confirm it, and understood it. Then they spread the message far and wide. All who heard it were in awe. But Scripture tells us Mary, the Mother of God, remained silent. She treasured these words in her heart and thought deeply about them. She, once again, believed the message of the angel that she had given birth to the Messiah, and she held close the memory of the shepherds’ words.
As we celebrate the Feast of Mary, Mother of God, on New Year’s Day, we might remember all that Mary did as Mother of God. She cared for her son, educated him, stood by him when he was beginning his ministry at the Wedding Feast of Cana, watched him be falsely accused, convicted and executed, and then received him into her arms at the foot of the Cross. What a faithful mother!
And while Jesus was on the Cross, He gave us his Mother. So, we can know that our Mother Mary will be with us right to the end. She will encourage us along the way, urge us to watch out for others as she did Jesus at Cana, help us to listen to the lowly and the poor just as she pondered the angel’s message to the shepherds at Jesus’ birth.
Even more, Jesus gave us His Mother to show us how great is His love for us. As she was faithful and strong, so is God’s love for us. As she, as a mother, was gentle and present in Jesus’ life, so she will be in ours, always watching over us.
Today we honor Mary for her “Yes” to being the Mother of God. It was a “yes” that had to be lived over and over again as she heard the words of Simeon that a sword would pierce her heart, as she fled into Egypt, as she suffered with her Son.
If we are humble, we can hear what the words of Scripture are calling us to be and to do. If we are saying “yes,” we may find ourselves hurrying to share what we have heard, eager to spread the joy that the Savior has come.
It is a joy that comes with sorrow, as Mary knew, but one that calls us ever closer to our true home where we will enjoy a never-ending celebration. So, today, let us rededicate ourselves to Jesus through Mary in grateful gladness!
Mary, the Mother of God, is our thirty-fourth & final Ornament of Grace for this holy season.
Observing the Beautiful Ornaments
How can being humble help you to hear the truth of the Gospel message?
What are some ways you can you say “Yes” to spreading the Good News?