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How Mary pondered everything in her heart


Waiting For The Word | CC BY 2.0

Philip Kosloski - published on 01/02/24

Pope Benedict XVI pointed out the original Greek word used in the Gospel of Luke that helps explain Mary's pondering.

The Blessed Virgin Mary does not say many words in the Gospel, but she more frequently “ponders” everything in her heart.

This pondering happens first when the shepherds approach Jesus and Mary on Christmas night.

And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.

Luke 2:17-19

She ponders again when she finds Jesus in the Temple, “And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart” (Luke 2:51).

Pope Benedict XVI referred to these words in his homily on January 1, 2008, explaining the original Greek word used in the Gospel of Luke.

The Greek verb used, sumbállousa, literally means “piecing together” and makes us think of a great mystery to be discovered little by little. Although the Child lying in a manger looks like all children in the world, at the same time he is totally different: he is the Son of God, he is God, true God and true man. This mystery – the Incarnation of the Word and the divine Motherhood of Mary – is great and certainly far from easy to understand with the human mind alone.

He then points to Mary as a great example for us when it comes to “piecing together” the mystery of the faith.

Yet, by learning from Mary, we can understand with our hearts what our eyes and minds do not manage to perceive or contain on their own. Indeed, this is such a great gift that only through faith are we granted to accept it, while not entirely understanding it. And it is precisely on this journey of faith that Mary comes to meet us as our support and guide. 

Often we do not understand everything in Christianity, but Mary can help us “ponder” within our hearts, discovering the many mysteries God seeks to reveal to us, little by little.

Virgin Mary
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