So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
“All who heard it were amazed.” Amazement: a common experience of many within the Gospels. Peter was amazed at the catch of fish; people were amazed that Jesus had “done all things well” and also because of “the gracious words that came from his mouth”; and Mary herself was amazed to the point of exclaiming that God “has done great things for me.” Mary feels the amazement of giving birth and, as in other moments, she “ponders these (amazing) things in her heart.”
Amazement: when the power, grace, and goodness of God are experienced beyond what one thought could ever occur. No doubt, you and I, too, have perceived and do perceive the unmistakable goodness of God to us—even as we face the struggles of life—and often enough are amazed by those blessings and “holy happenings.”
—Fr. Richard Baumann, SJ serves as Tertian Director for the East Africa Jesuit province. He is a native of Cincinnati, OH and a past provincial of the Chicago Province.
Lord, today with Mary at our side, keep us sowing the unmistakable goodness of God, so we may reap the grace of knowing amazement in our 2017 hearts. Amen!
—Fr. Baumann, S.J.