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Pondering Christ’s birth in our hearts

Mary remembered all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Luke 2:19

We don’t know exactly what Mary pondered. We can only imagine. Here presumably is a teenager of no special importance. A visiting angel tells her that she will become pregnant by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to the Son of God. Then, very pregnant, she must travel to Bethlehem. We know the story. Upon arrival, there is no room at the inn, leaving her no choice but to give birth in a stable. Shortly after, some shepherds arrive. They tell a story about a multitude of angels appearing to them to say that their Savior, Christ the Lord, has been born in Bethlehem.

What we do know is that Mary, though feeling confused and filled with questions, was faithful and obeyed the angel’s instructions. She must have been blindsided by the situation that she was thrust into. But by her faith she was obedient and surrendered to God’s will. Who among us would have done the same?

Blindsided

The events of the last few years have blindsided many of us. But for many our faith has given us the hope that the peace which passes all understanding will remain within us despite the external circumstances. Our relationship with God and Christ is dependent upon both our questions and upon our obedience.

And so this child is born in a lowly stable to parents who love him, but who have so many questions about who he is. The child is named Jesus. He grows up to be a man who is both human and the Son of God. Jesus is obedient to God and follows God’s will. He instructs us to love one another and we try.

Honoring Christ, honoring Mary

This Christmas we honor the Christ child. But we also honor Mary, Our Lady of Providence who said “yes.” We are reminded that it was love that was born that night and that there is no greater love. Mary surrendered and became, in the words of Fr. Richard Rohr, “a symbol of how the gift is received and treasured. Jesus is symbolic of the gift itself.” God incarnate, love incarnate. Let us remember this Christmas that we are here to love and to accept the gift of God’s love into our lives.

May the joy and love of Christmas be with you and, in the words of our beloved Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, “May [God] shed on you the sweetest lights and the most abundant blessings of [God’s] grace.”

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Diane Hartman

Diane Hartman is a Providence Associate. She is a writer and retired librarian. Diane lives in Plainfield, Indiana, with her two rescue dogs.

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7 Comments

  1. Barbara Sheehan on December 24, 2021 at 6:07 am

    Thanks Diane

  2. Paula Modaff, SP on December 24, 2021 at 9:17 am

    You capture so well the true spirit of Christmas, Diane. Thank you for using your talent of writing to enrich our Christmas reflections.

  3. Marilyn Webb on December 24, 2021 at 11:56 am

    Diane – I’ve been waiting for your reflection – it is beautiful. I’m so glad that you are an Associate and we can share this wonderful relationship together! Marilyn

  4. Ken Siarkiewicz on December 24, 2021 at 12:24 pm

    Thank you, Diane. Mary is a model for each of us in these times of uncertainty in general, and the particular uncertainties that each of us faces.

  5. Pam on December 25, 2021 at 7:56 am

    What a beautiful writing to wake up to on Christmas morning! Thanks, Di.

  6. S. Denise Wilkinson on December 28, 2021 at 11:04 am

    “Blind sided” and Mary are two ideas I’ve never put together, Diane. Thanks for surprising me with a new lens through which to ponder Mary – and so much else.

  7. Lay Cistercians on January 6, 2022 at 10:29 pm

    Thanks Diane. Honoring Christ is honoring Mary as well as the Holy Family. Mary said yes to Archangel Gabriel and so as Joseph took the responsibility when he was commanded in his dream. The Blessed Virgin always understands her son for she knew the mission it has. In saving the world. It is in Christ that we can go to heaven. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. On our mother, our Blessed Virgin, we honor her in praying the Holy Rosary and in our Lord, Jesus Christ we ask mercy by reciting the Divine Mercy CHaplet taught to us by SIster Faustina of Kowalska.

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