This weekend we celebrated the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. Sometimes it can be difficult for those of us who are male and not mothers to connect with Mary’s story, but I do believe there is something universal we all can relate to. The unknown.
We know that Mary is given a “cliff notes” style summary of events to come… But, there are so many details that only connect as she lives her life as a mother. In today’s Gospel, we see a very human moment. The mother of God is simply the mother of baby Jesus, following custom and bringing him to the temple to be dedicated and named. At the same time, scripture tells us that she was “amazed by what had been told to her by the shepherds. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.”
This reminds me of a poem written by my friend Larry Fraher:
We embrace these wondrous things.
With Heavenly choirs the Church now sings,
“Our souls magnify the Lord!”
The Mysteries of God’s loving art:
Treasured and Pondered in the heart.
There is wonder in the unknown. There is mystery in the journey as God makes art out of our lives. We don’t often see the whole picture, but each brush stroke reveals more.
If you haven’t heard, I am leaving the staff here at St. Patrick. It has been a joy to work and serve with everyone here for over six years. My family and I will still be involved at the parish, but, in the mystery of God’s loving art, I feel God calling me to something new. I am going to work with a medical device company my dad and I founded with the mission of bringing faith, hope and love to those suffering from debilitating medical conditions. I don’t know the whole picture of how things will happen, but I know God’s promise and I respond to God’s call. I will treasure and ponder all that I have experienced here and I will carry those with me always. I look forward to seeing all of the things St. Patrick Catholic Community treasures and ponders that come to be and I am excited to see what the next chapter of my life will bring. Our souls magnify the Lord. With that in mind, I am praying for everyone and I ask you to pray for me and my family.
The easy part? The first reading today gives us the words to use...
May the Lord bless you and keep you!
May the Lord let his face shine upon you,
and be gracious to you!
May the Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!