“And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” – Lk. 2:19

As an optimist, 2017 was rough. While my heart danced with elation at my wedding, cheered in excitement over the accomplishments of loved ones, and cried tears of gratitude and joy at finding out I was pregnant with our daughter Eleanor, these wonderful blessings appeared to be overshadowed by other things in my heart. These things challenged my heart to feel both the light and darkness of life versus closing and numbing itself when life became overwhelming.

My heart sobbed in pain at our previous miscarriage. It struggled in loneliness at moving across the country. It ached during the loss of purpose during a career transition. It prayed in fervent desperation for the families torn apart by migration and immigration circumstances, for lives lost and effected by mass shootings, for the victims of disasters like hurricanes and wildfires, and for many others who felt such darkness and despair due to illness, financial worries, and other trying realities.

On this first day of 2018, I’m looking to God’s truth in His fulfilled promise to take center as the lens through which my heart sees, keeps, and reflects. I place myself with Mary, allowing the gift of Jesus to transform my heart and life. God entrusted into her care His only Son, born into humble beginnings, a helpless baby to live a human life filled with both light and dark. What a vocation - to care for and love Jesus. Perhaps that is all of our vocations.

This baby would grow into our constant companion of hope who understands who and where we are because He has been there as well. Jesus’ birth is a reminder that we ourselves are loved and remembered, benefactors of God’s greatest gift.

What are we keeping in our hearts?
What are the invitations in our lives to care for and love Jesus?
How may we allow the gifts of Christmas to transform our hearts and lives in 2018?
Jesus, be with us. Amen.

Rae Visita

Photo Credit: Michael Lewinski