2 Chronicles 24: 17-25 Ps 89: 4-5, 29-34 & Luke 2:41-51
A reflection on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
By Rev. Azam Mansha, CJM
The pondering of Mary is found in the Gospel of Luke 2:19 and 2:51. Apart from these two passages, the action of pondering cannot be found elsewhere in the New Testament. Whereas, we can find the action of pondering twice in the Old Testament: Exodus and Daniel.
In the Sacred Scriptures pondering or reflecting is an action of experiencing the Divine presence which leads a person to prayer. Therefore, pondering on the Word of God is seen as prayer and all the people of God are told to do such prayerful pondering every morning and evening. This holy pondering is called ‘Shema’ in Hebrew (Deut 6:4)!
Sing with me: Shema O Israel, Adanoi, Elohim
Mary’s pondering from her heart can be seen as a prayerful action. But it is not an ordinary action of prayer where a person comes face to face with God, in the hope that God may listen and fulfill his/her desires. Mary’s prayerful pondering is an entering into prayer to understand the plan of God in her life.
(i) She pondered in her heart to understand: the message of the angel, “you will conceive the son of God.”
(ii) She pondered in her heart to understand: the message of Elizabeth when she said, “the mother of my Lord.”
(iii) She pondered in her heart to understand: the message of the host of angels announced to the shepherds, “the Savior has been born.”
(iv) She pondered in her heart to understand: the message of Joseph by the Angel Gabriel, “do not be afraid to bring your wife in your house because whatever is in her womb, it is by the Holy Spirit.”
This is precisely what St. John Eudes emphasized about Mary in his masterpiece The Admirable of Heart of the Most Holy Mother of God that before Mary conceived Jesus in her womb, she pondered on him, the Word of God, in her heart and later conceived and bore him, the Word made flesh, to the world as told by St. Paul in Galatians 4:4-5.
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children.”
we are all invited to ponder our lives, our shortcomings, our suffering, not to complain or ask God to take away the burdensome things from our lives but to allow ourselves patiently understand and see the plan of God and saying ‘speak O Lord, your servant is listening.
May Mary the Mother of Jesus and our mother intercedes for us ponder in the Word of God.