Rev. Charles Hoffacker
Today is among the Twelve Days of Christmas, a period in our society that invites us to swim upstream. During this countercultural time we can engage in the countercultural practice of pondering.
The mother of Jesus is someone who ponders. She does so in response to the arrival of the Bethlehem shepherds. They report how that they learned of the child through an appearance of angels. What they say subsequently spreads to unidentified others. “But,” Luke’s Gospel tells us, “Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)
Something similar happens many years later. Jesus, now twelve years old, becomes separated from his parents in Jerusalem; they find him conversing with teachers in the temple; he returns home with them and is obedient to them. This episode ends in a similar way. “His mother treasured all these things in her heart.” (Luke 2:51)
Mary did not let these challenging episodes pass on unexamined. Here—and probably on other occasions also—she pondered, assessing what had happened around her. We also need to assess our lives.
Dare to hope. And dare to ponder.
The Rev. Charles Hoffacker is a retired priest of the Diocese of Washington