Daily Bible Verses | The Gospel Of Saint LukeDaily Bible Verses For Advent & Christmas

Solemnity Of Mary, The Mother Of God | The Shepherds Find Jesus, Mary And Joseph

Audio Bible | Christmas | The Shepherds Find Jesus And Mary

Luke 2: 16-21 – Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God (Audio Bible, Spoken Word)

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

We discover in these verses of the Bible two distinct and complementary impulses which are at work in our relationship with God, exemplified by the shepherds and by Mary.

The shepherds are the first to hear the good news about the birth of Jesus, proclaimed to them by angels, as heaven bows toward Earth, in order to include and redeem the Earth. It was to a shepherd, Abraham, that God gave his promise to save mankind. In Jesus’ time, the shepherds were marginal people, disrespected by mainstream society because they lived with the animals for which they cared. The incarnation, the key event in the history of mankind and our salvation, takes place in a sense very quietly indeed – though the shepherds experiencing the presence of the army of angels might have thought otherwise! God’s love so often comes to us on the periphery and as we least expect it to be made manifest in our lives.

The shepherds are full of joy and are eager to see the Lord. Their sense of God is not passive; rather they respond most actively, in haste, longing to find what has been announced to them. Theirs is a living faith. We may recall how Mary went with haste to see Elizabeth, when Mary had first received news that she was chosen by God to bear Jesus.

The testimony of the shepherds carries great conviction. The shepherds tell of what they have seen and heard and all who hear what they have to say are filled with wonder. The shepherds glorify and praise God. The most improbable people have found in the most improbable place the deliverance all Israel has long prayed and waited for. The people are in awe at the mystery of the Incarnation.

Mary’s response to the visit of the shepherds is of great serenity and gives to us a model of prayer and contemplation. Mary keeps these things, and ponders them in her heart. Here is silence and wisdom. Struck with the enormity of what is happening, Mary centres herself in a quiet space, showing great respect to the Lord and respect for His plans for us, at the heart of which our Lady has found herself.

We are invited through the reading of these verses to imitate both the shepherds and Mary, to rush toward Jesus and give powerful witness to the wonderful news, that God has saved us, and to keep these truths close by us and ponder them in our hearts. There is great energy and prayerful contemplation in balance. We discover that God is with us.

God, our Father,
since you gave mankind a saviour through blessed Mary,
virgin and mother,
grant that we may feel the power of her intercession
when she pleads for us with Jesus Christ, your Son,
the author of life,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.