It is good for us to try and give ourselves over to an extended contemplation of the worth and the meaning of any single event or reality in our world. The season of Christmas gives us an initial 12 days to do so, and then the tradition extends some sense of the season throughout the days until Candlemas on the 2nd of February.
How different this is than anything we experience in our culture today, The very instant an event is over now, it is left in the past and rarely considered. On the principal news outlets complex events and issues receive a few seconds or at most a few minutes of reporting and consideration. And one rarely hears any talk of the ongoing and lasting meaning of anything.
Christianity teaches us and invites us to see and experience the benefit of doing what Mary did, according to the Christmas scriptures. She experienced in absolute firsthand all that was happening around her and within her. And then she treasured what she had seen and heard. She pondered it. She contemplated it all. She let it live and grow and mature within her, as she had allowed Jesus himself to do.
And thereby, she came to understand. To understand more deeply than others. To belong to Jesus more deeply, not only by physical link as his mother, but connected profoundly as his first disciple.
So it is good for us to imitate Mary in this season of staying with the events and the truth of Christmas, asking Christmas day after day, “What do you have to say to me? To my life? To the times in which I live? Speak Christmas.”
A native of the North Shore of Boston, I currently live on Long Island, New York. I worked at Boston College as the Acting Director of The Church in the 21st Century Center until August, 2010 and served until November 2016 as Canon for Formation, and Dean of the George Mercer Jr. School of Theology of the Diocese of Long Island. I am now Rector at the Church of Saint Anselm of Canterbury in Shoreham, New York.
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