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Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, The Octave Day of Christmas, January 1, 2024


Lk 2:16-21

The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph,  and the infant lying in the manger.When they saw this,  they made known the message  that had been told them about this child.All who heard it were amazed  by what had been told them by the shepherds.And Mary kept all these things,  reflecting on them in her heart.Then the shepherds returned,  glorifying and praising God  for all they had heard and seen,  just as it had been told to them.  When eight days were completed for his circumcision,  he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel  before he was conceived in the womb.


What stood out to me the most in this Gospel was actually this one line about Mary…”And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart”. After everything she went through, the angelic messages and her yes to God, the adoration of shepherds, and the marvel of the miraculous birth, Mary quietly reflects on these profound events in her heart. She took time to contemplate the divine miracles unfolding in her life in order to listen and continue to follow God’s will. I think this is something missing from many of us today in a culture characterized by constant distractions and the need to stay moving. Amid the busyness of our lives when do we take time to self-reflect and discern the presence of God?

I think our world today is also one of snap judgements and harsh words often born from hurt or pride. How many of us immediately lash out when hurt or jump to conclusions and create more conflict or misunderstandings? Silence and self reflection can be used to combat these problems by simply giving ourselves time to collect our thoughts and avoid impulsive responses. Silence creates a space for understanding and self contemplation that is greatly needed in our society today. Reflecting on our actions is the start of self growth and the pathway to fostering empathy and Mary's example encourages us to cultivate these moments of silence and introspection. It is up to us to take the time to pause, reflect, and discern God’s will.


PAPA Foundation
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