Gospel Meditation

“And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” Supernatural communication was nothing new for Mary. The angel Gabriel had already appeared and spoken to her when she agreed to bear God’s Son. Her husband Joseph also had a kind of divine intervention in the dream where the angel told him to go ahead and marry her. When she was first pregnant, her cousin Elizabeth had been led by the Holy Spirit to know the secret that Mary was “the mother of my Lord” (Lk 1:43). Now, Jesus has just been born and a crew of earthy shepherds appears at her door with a message from heaven: that the Savior has been born. And Mary believed them. She did not doubt their sincerity or the authenticity of their message. She took the words to heart, and meditated upon the meaning of it all.

What might strike us as peculiar in all of this is that God chose to speak to Mary in a variety of ways. This holy and immaculate woman, this Mother of God, did not always receive direct communication from on high. Sometimes, God chose to speak to her through other people. Sometimes, he revealed himself to them in order to reveal himself to her. And God does the same with us.

It’s easy to daydream about having our own personal revelation from God, to hear his voice loud and clear, directing, encouraging, and supporting us in our times of need and confusion. But this isn’t the standard pattern of God’s operation. Mary was tuned in enough to hear God’s voice all around her instead of expecting it to always sound the same. We can imitate this same kind of openness by seeking to discover how God may be speaking to us through the voices of others.