FOURTH DAY: NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
MARY, CONTEMPLATIVE WOMAN
Listening to the Word: The visit of the Magi (Mt 2: 1-12)
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him." When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet: 'And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will govern my people Israel.'"
Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared; and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him bring me word, that I too may come and worship him." When they had heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
Reflection: What would Mary and Joseph have thought when they saw these mysterious men coming from afar to see their little Jesus? And yet, the Son of God became man for all, also for these people who came from "afar". Mary immediately understands and shows Jesus to them too. Mary is the true contemplative, that is, the one who can see reality with the eyes of God. Are we contemplatives? Do we see reality with the eyes of God? Are we capable of giving Jesus to those we meet, those we know and those we don't know, our co-citizens and strangers, rich and poor?
Prayer: Blessed Mary, contemplative woman, teach us to keep in our hearts the situations of every day so that we may then see them with the eyes of God.
Blessed Mary, contemplative woman, teach us to see in the people we meet the face of your Son and not discriminate in any way.
Blessed Mary, child-bearing yet maiden, take us to Jesus.
My commitment is not to judge the people I meet during the day, but to see in each of them the face of the Lord.
Flower of Carmel
splendour of heaven,
Child-bearing yet maiden,
None equals thee.
Mother so tender,
whom no man didst know,
On Carmel's children
thy favours bestow,
Star of the sea.