Friday, January 2, 2015

Mary, Mother Of All, For Every Day Of The Year

How did Mary experience the first Christmas? Mary too heard the words explaining the event that she herself saw and lived. Words and deeds that she pondered in her heart, in herself in a conscious, thoughtful and intelligent listening. The heart indicates this. The inner listening of Mary is a prolonged one, not a single moment. The Gospel phrase, “she kept all these things, meditating on them in her heart,” says that the guard of Mary was not a keeping passive or inert, but an active and alive one, connecting and comparing one thing with another trying to understand the profound logic, the direction and the truth of things that may seem unrelated or even conflicting. It is precisely what Mary did, feeling on one hand the words that proclaimed the glory of the Child (words heard from the angel at the Annunciation) and, on the other hand, seeing "a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.” It is the usual tension between greatness and littleness, glory and poverty that is the backbone of the Christian event. Mary’s listening thus becomes a true interpretation that sheds light on the mystery of Jesus.
Mary is not only the mother of Jesus, she is also his most profound interpreter. She explains Christmas, because it is not easy to understand Christmas. So, let us be guided by Mary, who kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Her heart and her mind were seeking the golden thread that held together the opposites: a stable and "a multitude of angels," a manger and a "kingdom which has no end." Like her, like the shepherds and the Magi, let’s save at least astonishment. At Christmas the Word is an infant who cannot talk, the Lord is just in the morning of life, the Almighty is a child capable only of crying. God always starts in this way, with small things and in deep silence. God decided to reveal himself born as a child. This is the depth of the mystery of Christmas told by the Nativity in Bethlehem, of our churches and of our homes.
For thirty years, Christ lived this humble and simple life to save us. His mother embraced this life. This hidden life is embraced today, every day, by the Consecrated Virgins in the world. By placing their hope in the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Consecrated Virgins in the world look to Mary as "the prototype of the consecrated life because she is the mother who welcomes, listens to, intercedes and contemplates her Lord with praise of the heart" . Mary is the model, guide and Mother in all the fundamental elements of the consecrated life: in the evangelical following, in the way of marriage to Christ (Jn 2,4-5. 11 12), with "undivided heart" (1 Cor 7, 32), in evangelical poverty like the life in Bethlehem and Nazareth (Luke 1-2; Mt 1-2), in obedience to the salvific plan of God (Lk 1:38);in virginity spiritually, fruitful under the action of Holy Spirit, to be "the Woman" in union with Christ (Luke 1, 35; Jn 2: 4), in the availability to service and mission for the Church toward a new kind of motherhood (Jn 19, 25, 27; Rev. 12: 1); in the life of the Church as a fraternal bond of communion and help for the spiritual, apostolic, intellectual and human life.

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