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Monday, December 25, 2006

The Blessed Mother and the Child Jesus

I had the day off on Friday, so I had a wonderful priviledge of stopping by our Adoration Chapel to spend time in contemplation before Our Lord Jesus.

My parish has a school, so during school days it is quite common for a classroom full of children to be present, kneeling in adoration also. What a beautiful opportunity for them! For Jesus said, "Let the children come unto me", and our parish takes this directive quite seriously.

There were a few other people in the chapel as well, including one woman in the first or second row. Apparently some kind of signal was given to the children, for they suddenly all began standing, row by row, and filing out through the side door which led out into the main sanctuary. But one little boy broke away from his class and went to one of the women who was kneeling in the front near Jesus.

They had a short, quiet conversation and she gave him a gentle push to send him with his classmates. He began to leave, then turned to his mother and gave her a kiss on her cheek. She kissed him back and sent him on his way as he scampered back to join his class.

I was so struck by this moment, and could not help by draw a paralled between Jesus and his mother. Jesus, of course, was a Jewish boy and his family took the Ten Commandments to heart. (Indeed, Jesus himself taught that to break even one Commandment broke the entire Law). So we know that Jesus honored his mother and his father and must have shared many tender moments with them.

In my mind's eye, I saw Mary, going about her daily tasks, and Jesus, perhaps with his friends, or going about his own chores. I saw Jesus breaking away for a moment to approach his mother about something, begin to return to whatever it was he had been bidden to do, then turn back to Mary. I saw him approach his mother and quickly kiss her cheek before she gently pushed him away, smiling, loving her son, being loved by her son.

I realized that Mary is a true mother; she was an earthly mother to Jesus, and he loved her so much that he never ceased to honor her as well. It would simply go against his very nature. God cannot contradict himself; thus the very laws he set down for us all to follow also applies to him for, Jesus, as God Incarnate, sets the example He bids us all to follow and which, by Law, had preceeded his incarnation.

Jesus had sent the prophets; Abraham, Moses, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc. All had been abused and ignored. The Law continued to be broken, again and again, and finally, God came himself, Incarnate, as the Son of Mary, virgin Mother. The Messiah. He came to set us free from our sins, to reverse Eve's sin in the Garden of Eden, and in all ways, Jesus was perfect. He did not sin, and as Catholics, we believe that the perfect vessel He created to bear him also was pure, and did not sin.

How profound; not only that God came to earth as one of us, but consider this also from Mary's perspective; until an angel appeared to her she did not realize that she had been set aside for a special task. But throughout Jesus' life, she had the great honor to raise and mother the very Son of God! So while we only wish we could kiss his hands and his feet, she did so throughout life. For not only did she know who he was, but she was his mother! There is nothing like the bond between mother and child. As he grew, how she must have kissed his tiny infant hands and his tiny infant feet, and with what a sense of wonderment! For every mother is amazed at the child that grew in her belly, and completely dessimated at the love she feels for such a tiny being for which she has full responsibility. But to realize that this is God incarnate! For Mary was under no illusions; she knew who Jesus was, and she had that beautiful maternal instinct, no doubt enhanced by God the Father to prepare her for such a momentous task as rasing His only Son. Even the name of Jesus, "Emmanuel", that is, "God is With Us", alone, is a Divine Consolation.

Just consider those beautiful moments between mother and child, the little boy kissing his mother's cheek, bringing her flowers, running to her in times of trouble. The Son of God honoring his mother, a created being. The Son of God, who from his bloody death on the cross remembered to provide for his Mother who wept before him, having kissed his feet for the last time, perhaps remembering those moments just after his birth, those tender, unmarked feet that she must have kissed; those tiny, umarked hands which grasped at her, seeking sustenance. Seeking love, seeking support, seeking maternal love. How Jesus must have looked into her eyes with such devotion!

"Behold your Mother"

We only WISH we could experience, physically, a kiss on the cheek from the child Jesus, to bow before the manger where He was born, and offer him a pinky to grasp as all infants are wont to do. Mary got to experience all of this, every day; and never was there a day when her sinless child did not honor her as the Commandments bid him to do.

When Jesus went to His brutal death on the cross thirty-three years later, he did not forget his mother; nor should we. Mary is OUR mother, too, given to us by Jesus himself. And as Jesus honored his parents, both created beings, he also expects us to do so as well, out of respect for Him. Doesn't it make sense?

When we go to visit other families or friends during this blessed season, do we enter the home of a friend without greeting and thus honoring his or her parents, if they are present? Wouldn't our friend be incredibly offended at our rudeness if we came in and spoke only to that friend and did not perhaps wish the hosts a Merry Christmas or Happy New Year? So it is with Jesus. If we are to honor Jesus, we must remember to honor his earthly mother and father.

Sometime when you have the chance, just sit and consider the motherhood of Mary and imagine the relationship she had with Jesus. Perhaps you are a mother yourself and understand this far more completely and coherently than I. This is new territory for me...a single, childless woman contemplating motherhood of the Son of God. For those with children, especially sons, it has to be easier! Whether you are Catholic or Protestant, Pagan, Muslim, or Jew, consider your relationship with your childen or potential children, and you will realize the profundity of, not only God becoming Man incarnate, but also of Mary's motherhood to us all.

Mary, Queen of Heaven, pray for us!


Cathy_of_Alex said...

Adoro: This is just beautiful! I'd say more but one of my cats is lying on my hand (truly)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this meditation, it is a subject I have often pondered myself, but have only recently begun to make real progress understanding Mary's motherhood of us all. Just in time to celebrate her feast day as Mother of God.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas! What a beautiful thought. Christmas is a central event in Franciscan spirituality. While Easter is the highest feast in the Catholic calendar, it's always seemed to me, and to many of my Franciscan friends, that the mystery of Franciscan charism is tied up with the birth of Christ, the mystery of the Holy Family, and the way that the incarnation, Mary's resounding "Yes!" to God, and our resounding Yes to Jesus, is joined in some way with Mary's Yes. She leads the human race in saying Yes to God. And God, for his part, raises her above all other men and women, and makes her special. I suppose my devotion to Mary is in fact a necessary thing, given that I believe in the Incarnation.

Merry Christmas.


Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas to you, and thank you for this lovely meditation. Both my pregnancies were in progress during their respective Christmas seasons, and I thought a great deal about Mary, her courage, her strength, her wonderful maternal love. I too have thought about cuddling the Christ Child the way I cuddled my sons, tickling His feet, kissing His hands, doing the things any Mom does with her children. I thought of the flashback in TPOTC showing Jesus and Mary in the carpenter shop, as He's finishing the construction of a table. That scene shows their deep affection, along with a nice sense of banter and humour as Mary looks at the table and says, "That will never catch on!" I think of Mary often, not just at this time of the year, but every day -- she has helped me cook more than a few meals when I didn't feel like it! She is the woman I love, respect, and rely on more than any other -- a woman who points to her Divine Son and says "Do whatever He tells you." And, being a "good girl" of 60, I do what my Mother tells me to!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Blessed Mother of the Son of God, For answering our prayers.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Blessed mother for answering our prayers. Thank you very much

Anonymous said...

Blessed Mother,You made our family very happy by answering our prayers. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Please pray to Blessed Mother of the Son of God, she will answers your prayers