We’ve just finished the second day of the month which takes its name from the Roman god Janus, the god with two faces, one looking to the past and the other looking to the future.
The final hours of 2013 were filled with endless retrospectives of the past year’s events (which no one really understood) and the projection of New Year’s resolutions (which no one really intended to keep).
The reason why neither the retrospectives nor the resolutions have much meaning is that both are largely rooted in self-interest. What happened to us in the past year and how did world events effect our self interests? Or how could 2013 be better for me than 2012?
Our contemplation of past and present is usually rooted in what’s in it for me?
The Blessed Virgin Mother, by contrast, looks at the past and the future in an entirely different way. When the shepherds arrive at the manger and report what the angels have told them, we are told that Mary treasured these stories in her heart. And, again, when in the Holy Family Gospel we hear that the child Jesus grew in wisdom and grace, we are told that Mary treasured all that was happening in her heart.
The one who bore God’s Word made flesh in her womb, treasures the events of the world and ponders them in her heart in order to seek the will of God in the events of yesterday and tomorrow.
The meaning of recollection is never to seek my self, but to look for how God has been working in my life. Just as the meaning of resolution is not so much to seek my self interest, as to give myself more fully to God’s plan for me and for my life.
Why, then, do we always begin the year by commemorating the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary? Because, like her, we are called to consecrate to God all our yesterdays and all our tomorrows. For he who made all time, gives us another year to discern his plans and to do his will.
May he give us the grace and the strength to do his Holy Will in each of the days which remain in each of our lives.
Monsignor James P. Moroney