Eighth Day of Christmas

January 1, 2019 / By: Sarah Chamseddine

Nm 6:22-27/Gal 4:4-7/Lk 2:16-21

Solemnity of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God

In today’s Gospel the shepherds arrived in Bethlehem and shared the message that they had been told about the infant. The Gospel tells us that Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. 

But, what was Mary reflecting on? Moreover, what is she calling us to reflect upon this New Year?

I think the answer is: “God saves!” The meaning of the name Jesus. He is the hope of the world. He is with us! “God with us”, Emmanuel, another name we hear in the Gospel. I think Mary was reflecting how Jesus, Emmanuel, was born poor in a manger. He was born in a cave, to surprise us with His wonderful and living presence at a time when we were not waiting for Him, in a face that we cannot imagine, and in a place we dare not enter. Jesus was born in the middle of the night, resting in a manger.

God became man so we would not be afraid of Him. He came to sanctify every place. The darkest of places are not dark for Him.  Even the hidden places of our homes, our history, and our lives are places of His refuge.  The savior has dwelt in them.  He is Emmanuel, and nothing can stop His love for us.

Mary is calling us in this New Year to see her begotten son with the eyes of our hearts.  She knows that He is the only one who can fill our hearts with hope and joy. Mary is reflecting on how Jesus was born weak; and she is inviting us to have faith in God. Jesus was born out of love, and thus, we should never doubt God’s love. Jesus was born oppressed so we could accept difficulties. Jesus was born in simplicity; therefore, we should stop complicating things. Mary was reflecting how the hope of the universe was born, and that He is the one to lead us to the heavenly house of the Father.

Sarah Chamseddine
Program Manager, Office for Spirituality