“So [the shepherds] went in haste and found Mary and Joseph and the infant lying in a manger. They made known the message that they had been told about the child. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” (Luke 2:16-17, 19)
What was it that Mary was reflecting on in her heart? Could it have been that what the angels had told the shepherds confirmed what the angel had said to her; that the son she bore was to be the savior of the world?
How loving and merciful of God to give Mary a confirmation of her momentous decision to say yes to his plan for her to be the mother of his Son!
God providing confirmation of important decisions is not confined to the Holy Family, but is something available to anyone who seeks an ongoing relationship with him and asks for guidance in the decisions of life.
Let me share a story involving my mother when I was teenage boy, growing up in Mason City, Iowa. I was born with a deformed sternum bone that was inverted inward and had the effect of crowding my heart and lungs as I grew older. When I was 15, it was determined that it was causing my heart to enlarge with serious consequences on my future health and life expectancy. A thoracic surgeon in Des Moines had developed a procedure where the sternum bone would be cut from the rib cage lifted out and a bone strut placed across the ribs from one side to the other and then the sternum laid back down over the strut with everything wired back together.
Since this was in the 1950’s and the surgery was considered unusually invasive and experimental, my parents agonized over the decision to proceed. After seeking second opinions, deliberating extensively and praying, they decided to go forward with the surgery.
The Sunday before we were to travel to Des Moines for the surgery, my mother was earnestly praying at mass, asking God for some kind of assurance that they were making the right decision. As she was praying, she felt a hand on her shoulder. It was distinctly physical. She paused, looked behind her, but there was no one there or anywhere nearby. She knew it was a confirmation from God of their decision to go ahead with the surgery. Sixty-seven years later, I am still here to share the story.
“All who heard [the angels’ message] were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds.” (Luke 2:18)
Has God given you a sign or assurance with a difficult decision?