Feast of the Solemnity of Mary, The Holy Mother of God - 1st January, 2017
“As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
“When the eighth day came and the child was to be circumcised, they gave him the name Jesus, the name the angel had given him before his conception.”
These fragments from today’s gospel have a significance that is very true, especially for families, but also for individuals. The capacity of mothers to treasure things about their children and ponder them in their heart is a gift from God that is of immeasurable worth. I believe it is a mother’s gift, not a father’s gift from God. When our children need to know about themselves they go first to their mother. Mothers know how to interpret the circumstances – when they were sick; their first tooth, the first day they went to “big school”; the challenges of growing up. Children don’t keep secrets from their mothers, on the contrary, they confide their deepest dreams with them. And they don’t forget.
It will come as no surprise to all the mothers to hear these words about Our Blessed Lady. There can be no doubt that St Luke is sharing from his own experience what he knows about the way that mothers do remember about their children.
Now what about their names. Both parents have a say in that. So, in their baptism, they are asked “What name are you giving this child?” Bernard, Stephen, Leona, Kathy, Gerard, Frank, Dennis, Lyle, Tracey, Paul and Adrian. Those are the names we gave our children.
Astonishingly, they are the same names that Almighty God will call them by, and honour them by name for all eternity! They are God’s children as well as children of earthly parents. What a gift to parents that is from the Creator, to condescend that privilege. Let us pray always for our children, and as children ourselves never to forget our parents and pray always for them.