In these days of hyper-fast, hyper fast lives, it can be hard to make the time to dwell deeply, consider fully, treasure the stuff of life.

Today is the second time we hear of Mary “treasuring these things in her heart.” The first time was when Jesus was born in a lowly manger and the angels sang and the shepherds visited. Mary, we hear, treasured it all in her heart.

Now, as she and Joseph experience the panic of parents having lost pre-teen Jesus after going up for the festival of Passover in Jerusalem, only to find him back at the Jewish Temple amidst the teachers and elders declaring, “where else would you expect to find me, but at my Father’s house,” we again hear that Mary treasured all these things in her heart.

Mary, who was blessed by God with the courage to receive the news that she carried God in her womb. Immanuel, God with us. The Messiah. Mary, who traveling with Joseph found no room at the inn yet still the courage and strength to bear this Christ child - Savior-of-the-Nations-Come amidst the straw of a stable. And she named him Jesus as it was foretold to her by the angels. Mary, who cares for and watched this child grow and brought him to the Temple at the appropriate time and, after losing him, finds Jesus taking center stage where the Messiah - the chosen One of Israel - belongs.

By God’s grace Mary points the way for us: belief and strength when given the task to bear Christ to the world. Courage and fortitude when there is no room at the inn - that we might persevere anyway. Persistence in searching for and finding Jesus when she gets separated from him and then discovering that, as he says, Jesus is right where Jesus belongs.

And all along the way reminding us to treasure these things in our hearts. The promise of Christ, the challenges of remaining faithful to Christ, the times when we get separated and the discovery that Christ is always located at the center, calling us to what is true and real and worthy. To ponder and treasure it all deeply in our hearts.