Years ago people used to keep something called a “Scrap Book;” mementos from different significant events of one’s life. It may have contained the ticket stubs to that Broadway Play that was your first experience in New York City or that dried rose that someone gave you on Valentine’s Day. It may have contained the invitation to your college graduation or a newspaper clipping of that significant anniversary you celebrated. During free moments of one’s day, sitting with a cup of tea, one can take a trip down memory lane and remember those fine times and significant experiences that made us who we are today. This weekend we celebrate the Feast of Mary, Mother of God. The Gospel of Luke contains some powerful words that proclaim that “Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart” Luke 2:19. Memory is a powerful process and gift that we possess. Can you imagine Mary’s “Scrap Book?” The contents would have most likely assisted Mary in recalling the annunciation event and visitation with her cousin Elizabeth. Would Mary have recalled the difficulty of the travel to the “House of David?” How would she recall the blessing of the Birth of Jesus? Mary’s memory would have fondly remembered the early life of Jesus we know nothing about: did He sleep all through the night? What was it like to see Jesus take His first few steps? What were His first words? Mary must have cherished the times the baby Jesus would lean His head against her chest knowing her protection and love. What memento would Mary preserve to assist her in remembering the Jewish ceremony of “Presentation” and naming of the child? The very Gospels we proclaim are stories from the early Church’s collective memory recorded through the eyes of faith for our own challenge and growth. During these most holy days, let us take some time to reflect upon the memories of Christmas past and be most grateful for the memories we still are collecting and cherishing. Let us reach out in love and healing friendship to those whose memories are filled with pain and sorrow and assist them in building new memories of tenderness, healing and love.
Mary, Mother of God, assist us and pray for us.