‘But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart,’ (Luke 2,19).
Mary had been visited first by an angel then, after the baby was born, by the shepherds. Each visitor had a story to tell, words of advice and encouragement. The shepherds encouraged by the angels, so we are told, hurried to see Mary and the baby. After a fleeting visit they departed in order to tell anyone who would listen what they had seen and heard.
For Mary, information was coming quick and fast, and it was all good news. Indeed, of such quality was the news that she ‘treasured it’ and, unlike the shepherds who rushed off to speak, simply ‘pondered’ their words in her heart. Mary knew that she had a special child; the special child. She knew that He would cause excitement. She knew that unrefined impulse would cause others to rush off to speak and act as soon as they had encountered her child.
The gospels (especially Mark) contain many accounts of encounters where Jesus specifically asks the beneficiary of His grace not to speak about what had happened, but, like many of us (me included!) these individuals were unable to keep still and, to ponder what had happened to them in their heart, nurturing an even deeper level of understanding and, an ever more valuable storehouse of treasure.
Do we feel compelled to react, to speak in response to events, information and good news, or, like Mary, have we developed the capacity to ponder in order to understand the true significance of what we have seen and heard?