Weekly Reflection

As part of my work as Manager, Campus Ministry for the University of Notre Dame Australia I write a weekly refection on the coming Sunday's Gospel and email it to all staff and students of the Fremantle Campus. This then is the weekly blog of those reflections, based on the Gospel readings for Sundays, as per the lectionary of the Roman Missal of Paul VI. Should these reflections find any readership whatsoever, I hope that it is edifying.
The title of my blog is taken from the English translation of Cardinal John Henry Newman's memorial epitaph, which was inscribed on his memorial plaque at the Birmingham Oratory.

Ex umbris et imaginibus in veritatem - Through Shadows and Images to Truth

Sunday, December 27, 2015

27 December 2015 - Feast of the Holy Family (Day 3 of Christmas)

Gospel Lk 2:41-52
His mother treasured all these things in her heart
One event which would have been incredible formative for Mary was the Annunciation, where the angel appeared before her and announced the good news that Jesus, the Son of God, would take on human flesh within her womb.
  Undoubtedly this event would have coloured all her efforts in raising and caring for the child Jesus.
  The event recounted in the Gospel today, the only story we have in the Scriptures of Jesus’ adolescence, would have been all the more worrisome for her considering the weight of responsibility she would have felt, knowing that this child was the Son of God.
  The absolute horror that Mary and Joseph her husbandmust have felt upon learning that their son was not with the caravan would have been unbearable. The sudden realisation that your child, the Son of God, is no longer with you would come as a tremendous shock. The sick feeling which must have arisen in the pit of their stomachs must have been overwhelming.
  Yet, despite the heartache that they must have endured, and most likely even the anger that they must have felt at having been left to worry over his whereabouts, this event was for both Mary and Joseph, as it is for us, a joyful mystery.
  This is an event which is joyful, not only for the fact of being reunited with Him, but also for the fact that, he has revealed to them plainly and for the first time his Divine Sonship.

  As we ponder this great mystery, still within this Christmas season, we look to Mary, the Mother of God and our mother as a model. Her receptivity of the Word of God, is manifest not only in her physical motherhood of Jesus, but spiritually as ‘she treasures all these things in her heart.’ She who in responding with such total self-surrender to the Word, is like the “good soil” of which Jesus speaks. “These are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance” (Lk8:15). She is what Pope Francis called the ‘perfect Icon of faith’ (Lumen Fidei, 58).

Prayerful Words
May it come about in us, O Spirit of God, as it did in Mary–the mystery of the Word was made flesh in her. It became part of her flesh and one with her expressions. Thus, may the memory of Christ become flesh of our flesh, part of all our actions, counsel for every thought and flame for every affection, and move in us with all our moves, from morning to evening, as we eat and drink, and in all our living and in our dying.
Luigi Giussani, On the Holy Rosary

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