Reading Luke 2:15-19, 46-51 ESV
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.
After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress." And he said to them, "Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?" And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.
From the earliest times, our Lord’s mother has often been understood as a picture of the Church. Why? Because she is so good and holy? Because she is immaculate? No.
Because she hears the Word and responds in faith. God gives her the faith to receive His Word. It’s the pattern of the Divine Service. The Lord gives His Gifts. We respond with thanks and praise. The Word enfleshed is given to the Blessed Virgin, and she receives Him, pondering and treasuring Him.
Again, is Mary pondering because she has some immaculate, sinless heart? Does she have the power and virtue to do this? As Professor Froehlich, my beloved Greek professor from River Forest, would say, [me genoita]! By no means! Not at all! No way!
Mary receives what is given her to receive. She ponders what is given her to ponder. She treasures what is given her to treasure. The Spirit of the Lord has delivered Christ to her and brings about the pondering and treasuring.
Likewise, the Spirit delivers Christ to us, and brings about the pondering and treasuring of the Word made flesh.
As the Church, following the example of the Virgin Mother, treasures the Word in her heart, we are in union with each other and that Word made flesh. Our hearts are one in Christ, as He blesses and preserves us in that wondrous cycle of hearing His Word and responding in thanks.
God’s own child, I gladly say it. Why? I am baptized into Christ. Baptized into Christ, you are united with Him. As each one here is united with Him, each is united with the other. We are of one heart.
As His baptized people, where do we find God’s Love, the Word made flesh? He is there in a manger. And Mary pondered all of this in her heart.
Later, where do we find Jesus? Going about His Father’s business – proclaiming and teaching the Gospel in the House of the Lord. Again, the Blessed Virgin ponders all this in her heart.
The Word travels from water to body, from ear to heart, working, creating and sustaining faith. And now, you baptized people of God, you continue to hear this Word, pondering it in your heart.