When the Deacon is assisting the priest during the celebration of the mass there is a particular point, while the bread and wine are being prepared, that he says a particular blessing. After he pours the wine into the chalice, he follows up with a drop or two of water and says, “by the mystery of this water and wine my we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity”.
A very interesting theological concept. Man’s creator has become man, he has humbled himself to become our brother. The drop of water has changed the wine, but it still remains wine. The intricacy of this exchange is almost too complicated to fully understand. And when we include the gift that Mary gives by agreeing to become His mother here again it is almost too much there for any of us fully understand.
Today is the feast of the solemnity of Mary Mother of God. There are so many aspects of Mary that we reflect upon through out the year that is refreshing for us to take this day to reflect on this one, Her Motherhood. Of all the debate that Mary’s very existence tends to initiate she is pretty much universally recognized as the mother of Jesus. And, at the simplest of levels, we all understand what is involved in motherhood.
For nine months she carried the Son of Man inside her. He heard her talk, he heard her sing, he felt her walk and she felt him kick. For nine months their relationship was personal and private. Perhaps Mary would tell Joseph when the baby would kick. And no doubt friends and family would take notice of the baby’s size and position but for these months their relationship was theirs alone. But let’s not forget that He was still the son of God.
While this intimacy was real, and all too familiar, it was He who humbled Himself to be there with her. And here we have to ask the question did Mary know? She said “yes” to the angel. She said yes to the being the second Eve. She said yes to being the second arc of the covenant, and we have to ask the question; did Mary know?
Again, the debate that comes with all of these aspects of the very essence of Mary is almost too overwhelming. But we all understand the motherhood of Mary.
While he was an infant she cradled him, cuddled Him, nursed Him. She was the first that he would seek out, the first that he would run to, the one to calm all of his fears and wipe all of his tears. She is the perfect place of refuse and comfort.
But He was the messiah, our redeemer. He was to be the culmination of creation, without His birth Gods plan was left incomplete. He was to be the Word made flesh and yet, as we heard in today’s Gospel reading “The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph,
and the infant lying in the manger.”
Like I said a moment ago, it is good to take the time to reflect on her motherhood. Tomorrow we will celebrate the Epiphany, and the week after that the Baptism of Jesus. Then we are back to ordinary time and before you know it we will begin Lent. But for today we remember that first Mary was the mother of our Lord.
What better way for us to remember that than by saying:
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph,
and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this,
they made known the message
that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed
by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things,
reflecting on them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God
for all they had heard and seen,
just as it had been told to them.
When eight days were completed for his circumcision,
he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel
before he was conceived in the womb.
January 1, 2022
January 1, 2022