By Fr. Serg Kabamalan, CJM
8 February 2020
Facing reality far bigger than us to grasp always reduces us to the silence of awe and wonder. We may not understand everything, but the sheer awareness of God’s presence and movement surely lead us to ponder and attempt to fathom the depth of its meaning. Mary did so, not just once or twice. From all indications in the Sacred Scriptures, it seems like treasuring and reflecting in her heart was her default response to God’s revelation all throughout her life because of her openness to God.
It is an allusion to what we now label as contemplative prayer, where all her being was taken up into the realm of divine action and intention. It is a welcoming stance to the Spirit of God, God’s presence, speaking no longer in the words and ways of men, but in God’s own language of love. In our gospel, Mary’s heart opened up to the Spirit. The Spirit took her to the depths and heights of God’s presence through the mystery of Incarnation which was also revealed to the lowly, represented by the shepherds of Bethlehem. It was a mystery where she shared center stage with her Son. To hear it revealed to the lowly added color, tone and hues to the picture that was still unfolding right before her eyes!
She knew even before that the grace to be the mother of God was not hers alone. In her Magnificat, she reveled in the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel through the grace and favor granted to her at the backdrop of God’s merciful act on behalf of the lowly, the have-nots, and the powerless. In the same breath, she acknowledged her connectedness to all in God’s plan. So, the visit and the testament of the shepherds must have affirmed her. She could have said, “Yes, I know!” with the pride of being the prime and central character upon whom God has revealed his plan. But she chose the path of silence, and in humility savored the richness of God’s action.
1. While we have a natural inclination for awe and wonder, the continuing action of God in the daily grind may fail to catch our hearts’ attention deadened by familiarity and routine. What does your veneration of the Heart of Mary teach you in this regard?
2. The Heart of Mary is really the core of her being centered in God. What is the focus of your own core?