It is that time again. The world is getting ready for the day we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2020 was a year far from our expectations as we were forced to stay in our homes. May be that is why I see more decorations and preparations for Christmas this year.
Every year my husband would buy a live Christmas tree to decorate, a tradition we still continue today. As usual, we began decorating, but when the kids looked for the crib to put under the tree, they realized that we were missing one very important piece… “Mommy, Mary is not here!”
I told them to look again, but Mary was nowhere to be found. I thought to myself, we have infant Jesus and St. Joseph, but how can we have the crib without her?
In the Gospel of St. Luke chapter 1 we read about God sending the angel to this very ordinary girl to say that she is chosen to be the mother of His son. She was very ordinary, but she had been given the highest calling ever given to a woman—to bear the Son of God. She couldn’t understand anything, but she still said yes. Then we see she completely surrendered her life to God’s will. She carried Him inside her womb for ten months. When they were getting ready for His arrival she had to go to Bethlehem leaving everything she had behind in Nazareth.
She taught Him how to walk, how to speak. She loved Him, enjoyed cooking for Him. She watched Him grow up, and when He was twelve years old, she sought Him for 3 days when He was lost.
I am also a mother, and I too have felt that pain when one of my children goes away or is not near me. I imagine how sad and scared she must have been, searching for Him without food or water for three days. She must have thought “God asked me to take care of His son, the Messiah…and I lost Him.”
And then she found Him inside the temple talking to the doctors of the temple. What joy must have filled her heart! For her, He was only a 12 year old boy, but in reality, He was the Alpha and the Omega. He knew everything they asked (Luke 2:46). When she finally found Him she asked, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” He asked in return, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
Her heart was broken, but she held everything in her heart. She was the one who made Him grow to give his life for all. She must have thought that after her husband Joseph died, He would be with her to take care of her. When He said let me go, she must have cried.
The crib in Bethlehem and the holy family and that night when the shepherds heard the angels singing all feel so real to me. I feel more close to her and that small holy family when I think about the struggles she went through to raise Him up and one day give Him away to die for us.
We decided to order another nativity set and that problem was solved. Don’t you love that holy family a little more? Don’t you love Mary, who Jesus gave to all of us as our mother, a little more? Let us take time to meditate on her life and invite baby Jesus to our homes and hearts with more love and prayers this year.
Wish you all a very merry Christmas.