Scripture reading reflection

By Fr. Andrew Kelly

SOLEMNITY OF MARY, THE HOLY MOTHER OF GOD — JAN. 1, 2015

St. John of the Cross wrote somewhere: “The Father spoke one Word, which was the Father’s Son, and the Father speaks the Word in an eternal silence; and in silence the Word must be heard by the soul.”

Mary, the mother of Jesus, knew the Word the Father spoke in eternal silence. Mary had the soul silence needed to hear that Word. If Mary is the model for the believing community, then it must come to know the Father’s Word in its soul’s stillness and silence just as Mary did.

The Gospel (Luke 2:16-21) for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, states: “But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.” In Mary’s stillness and silence of pondering and treasuring, the Father’s Word penetrated, illuminated and transformed Mary’s soul forever.

The question arises: “How much community time is solely dedicated and scheduled for stillness, silence, treasuring and pondering? If seldom or none, the Father’s Word will never be heard, let alone penetrate, illumine and transform the community’s soul as Mary’s soul was. Ideally, Mary’s silent still soul should by now be the community’s soul: “But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.”

(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)

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