The great feast of Mary Mother of God, the world day of peace, the first day of a New Year, New year resolutions, all these came together for me this morning when Father began his homily with this Scripture verse—Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.- I have no idea what he had to say after that. For these words reached me with great force and an immediate question. What things, events, situations, do I treasure and ponder in my heart and why do I do it. ? As I was quietly working in the kitchen I continued to reflect on this Word.  “Where your treasure is there also will your heart be.” What my heart has been most focused on during this past year will reveal to me what my treasure really is. What do my inner dialogues reveal? When I ponder the daily happenings in my life is it  to bring to bear the Word of God on these events, so that God’s  plan for my life may come to full fruition, as I gradually allow his light and truth to shine in my darkness.? Is my focus on listening to the voice of the Lord and as a result of that entering into His Peace. Do I treasure all the happenings of the day, both positive and negative because I know that each of them is a gift through which God is speaking to me if I have ears to hear? Do I believe that God is bringing about His plan both for my salvation and the salvation of the world as I willing assent and respond to His revelation to me moment by moment? I f I did how I would hug to myself each happening, each encounter, excited by the prospect of learning something new about God, about myself, about the needs of others. I would be like a child on Christmas morning tearing apart the wrapping to discover the enclosed gift.

Or do I  in fact ruminate deeply on hurts, on negative experiences, pondering over grievances, blaming others, judging others, protecting myself from others. Are these the things I treasure and ponder in my heart? Thoughts that serve to reinstate me as the one in the right, thoughts that diminish others? And yet even these inner monologues are stepping stones to grace if I can but listen to them in truth and invite Jesus the light of the world to bring to light what darkness is hiding.

Mary listened no matter who or what God chose to speak to her through and because of her inner disposition “Be it done to me according to your Word”, she heard His voice; through the angel Gabriel, through her cousin Elizabeth, the inn keeper, the shepherds, the wise men, Herod, Simeon and Anna, Jesus in the temple, the wedding feast of Cana, when Jesus left to begin his ministry, when she was told he was mad, when he was persecuted and murdered and in all the events in between. No matter what came her way, her response was to take it and ponder it in her heart. And because of that she was there at the foot of the Cross, sharing with her whole heart in His Passion and she was witness too to his Resurrection, and now reigns with Him to “mother each new grace which does now reach our race”. To paraphrase Gerard Manley Hopkins, may she who holds high motherhood, towards all our ghostly good continue her work as this new Year begins so that our hearts may become new Bethlehems, where she shall yet conceive Him and He be born there , evening, noon and morn.