There is a joke that goes something like this: a man is in a traffic accident and is very close to death. He leaves his body and goes to heaven where he sees God. God assures him that he is not going to die just then, but suggested that, while he was waiting to go back to earth, he could ask any question of God. The man thinks and says, explain to me the concept of wealth. To which God says, “Here in heaven a billion dollars is but a penny” Hmmm, the mans says and askes, “Then explain to me the concept of time.” So, God says, “here in heaven a billion years is but a minute”. The man though about this, turned to go back to earth and then turned back and said, “in that case can you give me a penny?” to which God replied, “In a minute”.
The point of that story is God’s perspective. And how different this must be from anything that we can ever understand. Take today for instance. Today is the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The only person that has ever been born without any trace of original sin. Think about that for a minute. The idea is incredible. Someone once asked me if I though that, growing up, Mary knew that she was special. A reasonable question … reasonable by our standards but totally foreign by God’s standards.
The simple act of looking at other differently from ourselves, comparing ourselves as better, worse, or separate suggests a lack of humility, lack of charity, lack of empathy. All are components and characteristics of original sin. Mary was born with out the draw of original sin.
Think of it this way. Billions and Billions of years ago, a couple of minutes for God, the world was conceived. All of the elements that surround us, the people that came before us and those that will come after us were all known and planned for. The way that all things fit together was designed, the moisture that fills the air and the rain that falls to the ground, the plants that absorb that rain and the moisture that is released from the plaints to become the moisture that fills the air. The ultimate beauty of the logic in creation was inspired by God. How could it possibly have not. Everything fits together so perfectly.
So to with mankind. Adam and Eve were created, they lived in paradise but were temped, they fell from grace so they needed a savior, so Mary was conceived without sin so that she could give birth to a savior, that He might walk the earth, so that He could die for all sins, and we might live in paradise.
The first reading sort of says the same thing. “And those he predestined he also called; and those he called he also justified; and those he justified he also glorified.”
Just let me know if all of this is giving you a headache.
Let me try one more on you; due to the sin that came into the world through the disobedience of Adam and Eve, Jesus had to come into the world. And because of the fact that he was a man born free from sin he had to be born through Mary who had been freed from all sin through her son’s death on a cross.
No, I will not repeat that. Well okay, just one more time, due to the sin that came into the world through the disobedience of Adam and Eve Jesus had to come into the world. And because of the fact that he was a man born free from sin he had to be born through Mary who had been freed from all sin through her son’s death on a cross.
The point is perspective. God’s perspective. Not only is a billion years but a minute but the sequence of things do not appear to matter much. It is really difficult for me to accept that Jesus’ crucifixion and death forgive me of all my sins. Even those that I have not committed yet. Just like Mary’s immaculate birth was made possible by the death and resurrection of the son that she had not yet given birth to.
My intention was not to confuse you. It was not to pose riddles that cannot be solved. Today we celebrate the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The fact that we cannot fully understand her should not change the fact that we can fully love and be loved by her. Her total love for the Father allowed for her Son to be born so that He could die out of total love for us.
Blessed are you, holy Virgin Mary, deserving of all praise;
from you rose the sun of Justice, Christ our God.
MT 1:18 – 23
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill
what the Lord had said through the prophet:
Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,
which means “God is with us.”
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