I know I have said this many times before but St. Luke’s words in today’s Gospel passage proclaimed for the celebration of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God are among my favorite in all of scripture. As part of his description of all the wonderful events surrounding the birth of Jesus, he says that Mary “treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.” These words, I think we can all agree, express a beautiful sentiment. However, I believe we are making a significant error if we cannot see them as much more than merely sentimental. To me, they are extremely valuable words of advice that, if we are wise, will apply to our own lives. We all know that Mary would go on to witness the terrible passion and death of this same Jesus that she held in her arms as she pondered the great mystery of the nativity. It is my contention that had she not made a conscious decision to “ponder them in heart,” she may not have been able to withstand the prophesied sword that did indeed pierce her heart. The same is true for each of us. As people of faith, we believe that God has a plan for us and is leading us according to that plan each and every day. And each day He prepares us little by little for what is to come. Therefore, it is essential for us, like it was for our Blessed Mother, to take the time and make the conscious choice to treasure all the gifts and blessings that He bestows upon us along the way, so that we might draw upon them in the future to offer Him fitting glory, thanks and praise. If we don’t take the time to place God’s blessings in our hearts as He gives them to us we will not be as equipped for the future as God intended us to be. I don’t know about you, but this seems like a perfect New Year’s resolution to me.