January 1, 2016
The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon
you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and
give you peace! Nm_6:22-27
Happy New Year, Beloved!
“Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” Lk_2:16-21
When good things happen in OUR lives, brothers and sisters, do we keep them? Or do we just keep the nasty things.
It’s funny, because it seems that the world tends to prefer to keep the nasty things. We have memorials for the holocaust, the World Wars, the 911 disaster and even the boat that sunk at Pearl Harbor. And it really is fitting to remember the souls of our loved ones who have perished . . .
But how many memorials can we think of that remind us of the GOOD things in life? Do we remember reaching the moon in a little metal rocket tube? Do we remember Nadia Comăneci, the little Russian gymnast, who won three gold medals in the 1976 Olympics and stole the hearts of America, despite the “cold war” between our nations? Do we remember the joy of the Israelites reaching the other side of the Red Sea in freedom, after 400-years of bondage?
What is it that we truly keep and reflect on – in our hearts?
One example, that the world is so desperately trying to snuff out, is our yearly remembrance of the birth of our Lord and Savior. Do we remember the splendor of the beautiful birth of Jesus, over the nastiness of the long journey to Bethlehem on the back of a donkey, over the lack of comfortable lodging, over the bed of straw and the cold of the night?
Do we remember the joy of the birth of our own first child – or do we just remember the labor?
Today we celebrate Mary, the Mother of our Lord. We remember her surprise at the appearance of an angel who announced God’s selection of her to be the vessel, the rocket ship, the arc, the tabernacle which was to hold and deliver God himself onto the soil of this strange new land. We remember her fiat, her ‘Yes’ to God’s proposal: “May it be done to me according to your word.” Lk 1:38
And we hold and we keep:
– the Shepherds,
– and the three kings,
– and the Blessings of Simeon and Anna,
– and the Finding of Jesus in the Temple,
as memorials, as trophies of the Goodness of God – given to Mary
and to us.
And we remember how very, very blessed we are – because we have a God who loves us beyond our wildest imaginations. And in return, we love God the Father, we love Jesus His Son, the Holy Spirit our helper, and we love Mary our Mother with all of our hearts and all of our souls, in recollection and in sure hope for
His promise of Life in eternity with Him, both now and forever!
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