December 31, 2011
Mary, Mother of God (January 1, 2012)
(This reflection is mostly based on the writing of Fr. Francis Moloney, SDB, the [*] indicates Fr. Moloney's words) 
In this Gospel passage, St. Luke offers three different responses from the people to the events of the birth of Christ.
The first response is that of "all who heard it" from the shepherds. They were simply "amazed." "However, there is no indication that their 'hearing' leads to faith. Not do they make any attempt to 'see' the newly born child. All they do is wonder." [*]
The second response is that of the shepherds. In response to the message from the angel (verses 9 & 10), they "went in haste" to look for the child. And once they have witnessed it, they glorified and praised God. They also "made known the message that had been told them about the child."
However, "they are never heard of again." There is no indication that they were among Jesus' audiences when he later preached and ministered. [*] And no shepherd is recounted among those standing by the cross of Jesus or in the Upper Room after the Crucifixion.
Then, there is the third response, the response from Mary. She will be "present during the life and death of Jesus, and who is still present in the life of the Church." She is able to do that because she "kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart."[*]
 Francis J. Moloney, S.D.B., The Gospel of the Lord: Reflections of the Gospel Readings - Year A. Homebush, Australia: St. Paul Publications, 1992; p. 78-79.