Today’s Gospel passage leads us to listening, keeping, putting into practice, and pondering in the heart. St. Anselm says: “She so listened to the word of God that it took flesh within her.” Mary is the model of one who listens, keeps the word, and puts it into practice in her life. But she is also the model of one who ponders the word of God.
It’s not sufficient to listen and not put into practice because Jesus in the Parable of the Sower, mentions that the seed that falls on the rocky ground represents someone who hears the word of God and immediately receives it with joy. However, they have no root or foundation, so they do not last very long. (Matt. 13:21)
To listen means to pay heed, have an attentive ear, and be quiet. We may add: “Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart” Lk. 2:19. It is a process that has been described as a gentle chewing of the word that slowly releases its inner riches. In Hebrew, the word for pondering means murmuring, or meditating. “How blessed are those… who find their pleasure in the law of Yahweh, murmuring that over, day and night.”
Keeping the word is the work of sowing a seed, allowing it to take root. It presupposes a climate in which it can germinate and become rooted in the heart. Once we have heard the word, we must make it stay in us, not keeping it in cold storage but allowing it to grow through successive stages in our lives.
Let’s ask Mother Mary to intercede not for a cold storage heart but a fertile and life-giving heart.
Sony Marsilin Kannanaikal CP is a Passionist priest, he lives at St.Joseph’s Community, Hobart.