Reflection for December 30, 2012
The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
First Reading: 1 Samuel 1:20-22, 24-28
Second Reading: 1 John 3:1-2, 21-24
Gospel: Mark 12:38-44
In today’s Gospel, after the harrowing experience of losing her son while away from home, we are told, as has been pointed out in other Gospels, that Mary kept or pondered all of these things in her heart. Most family members have had occasion to ponder in their hearts and to hold in prayer what is happening in their own family. What is best for my child in this situation? How can I help my parents who are growing older? How will this new job or this move affect my family? How can we reconcile our differences? Will they forgive me? What shall I do if I think my spouse or child is making a huge mistake?
Often, it is wise to take some time to ponder and to pray rather than reacting to a situation immediately. Taking a step back, taking time to breathe, contemplating the many aspects of an event or encounter, asking God to give us wisdom and insight, can help us to respond from our best self in a Christian and compassionate manner. Mary surely had many questions and concerns. Jesus was often a surprise to her and to Joseph. Her relationship with God and her willingness to ponder, no doubt helped her to be the mother she wanted to be.
Loving God, we thank you for the example of Mary, who through contemplation, embraced God’s will for her life and her relationships. We thank you for our families, and pray that in the challenges of family relationships and decision-making, we may often slow down and step back to pray and reflect before reacting. Bless our parents, children, grand-children, extended families, and all who have been family to us over the years. Bless our human family and the family of all creation who inhabits our planet Earth. May we learn to love one another, to live at peace with one another and to consider one another’s needs when we choose to act. We ask this through our brother Jesus. Amen.
S. Maureen Irvin, OSF
Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg