From my friend and brother, Fr. James Castro, CMF
As we begin the year 2008, we honor Mary, the Mother of God. We begin this New Year with new hopes, new life, and new dreams.
Mary carried into our world the true Hope of our life, the giver of Life, and the fulfillment of every dream - Jesus Christ our Lord. Her simple and generous Yes to God made all the difference.
The gospel today presents Mary to us as a model of that new life in Christ that all of us wish for ourselves in the New Year. There we see that Mary was prepared to do something to realize this goal.
What did she do? We read that the shepherds, when they went to adore the Child Jesus in the manger, told all that the angels had said to them. "Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart" (Luke 2:19).
Again after the boy Jesus was found in the Temple, we are told that "His mother treasured all these things in her heart" (Luke 2:51).
Mary was a woman who valued the word of God, who treasured it and made time to meditate and ponder it. It is true that the holiness of Mary is attributed to the grace of God, but this should not make us forget that she needed to make an effort in order to cooperate with the grace of God.
She pondered the word of God in order to discern what God was saying to her at every stage in her life as the handmaid of God.
We are invited today to stop and listen to God. He talks to us everyday, every moment of our life but at times we are so busy to listen to Him or even to take
time to talk with Him. The new hopes, new lives and new dreams will only come true if we learn to listen to God and ponder His Words in our life. Just like Mary let say Yes to God and make a difference in our World.
Happy New Year to all of you!