Fear came over all their neighbors, and all these happenings were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. All who heard them pondered them and said, “What will this child become? For indeed the hand of the Lord is upon him.”
Elizabeth and Zechariah’s neighbors are the heroes of this episode. They
did the very important pre-Christmas work of pondering. They witnessed the marvelous events surrounding the birth of John the Baptist. Then, lest they forget to be reflective, they “pondered all these happenings in their hearts” to make sure that daily routines did not smother the wonder of their experience. We, too, are invited to ponder the gospel readings on these final days before Christmas.
THE NEIGHBORS SPEAK TO YOU
“Blessed are you and worthy to God’s praise if you pray quietly about the true meaning of Christmas. Try to understand how the ‘happenings of God’ personally involve you. Do not get upset about how little time you have to do so many things. Do what you can without anxiety . . . and don’t do what you can’t. But whatever you do, don’t give up pondering. Never cease to treasure God’s love, storing up the meaning of God’s Christmas in your heart.”
Jesus, my Lord, help me to stop for a while today, to rest from all that I have to do. I am busy—that is true—but I’m not that busy. Teach me how to ponder the events of your beginnings . .. and give me the graciousness to applaud your ever-present welcome. Amen.