In today’s gospel we hear the familiar story of the shepherds visiting the newborn infant, Jesus. We are told, “Mary kept all she heard and saw, reflecting on them in her heart.”

Let’s spend a few minutes reflecting from Mary’s perspective:

It all seems so long ago and yet like yesterday, that joyous day when I was betrothed to Joseph. How happy and excited I was, as I imagined what our lives together would be like. Then came that frightening visit from the angel Gabriel. What would Joseph think and do, and how about my family and community? Despite the fear, risks and uncertainties, I knew in the depth of my heart that I desired to say yes to this invitation from God.

To my great relief, Joseph had his own visit from an angel. As if that were not enough, Zechariah was also visited by an angel and long barren Elizabeth became pregnant. And now, these shepherds tell us how an angel has told them about the berth of the Savior here in Bethlehem. How God has been active in my life! And now, gazing with immeasurable love upon my newborn son, God becomes Man and dwells among us!

We are all called to be Mary; hearing the word of God in our lives, saying yes to His loving invitation, and bringing God into the world and into the lives of all people. We live in that time when the Lord dwells among us! Happy New Year.

—David McNulty is the Provincial Assistant for Advancement, Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits