I remember so well in school we used to hear a lot of this phrase “remember by heart”. This phrase was mostly applied to anything from mathematical formulas to grammatical rules and even to eating habits. I remembered those things, although mostly I don’t have to ponder on them or question them.
But today, as we reflect on the mother of Jesus, we come to realize this amazing character of hers that defined who she really was. Mary did not just remember things; she pondered over the events and experiences in her life. In her relationship and experience of Jesus, she indeed had rich and deep memories; the wonder and joy of the first Christmas, the sorrow and grief at Calvary.
In Luke 2:41-51, we read about Mary being worried and anxious of finding Jesus and the astonishment at the answer He gave. All this Mary remembered and pondered in her heart. And even as she pondered, the mystery of God was slowly revealed to her, and the will of God was slowly made known to her.
41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”[a] 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. Luke 2:41-51 New International Version (NIV)
Today, we are invited to have a contemplative heart, like that of Mary. It is only with a contemplative heart that we can recall our past in retrospection and see the hand of God in our personal history. We become more aware of the presence of God in the present, and that will deepen our hope and confidence in God to journey into the future. May we seek to have a heart like Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Peace and Joy
Written by Rev. Fr. Courage Dogbey
Prayer (The Boy Jesus at the Temple)
Lord Jesus, may we become more aware of Your presence. Deepen our hope and confidence in You as we journey on. Amen