I don’t think one can think of Christmas without thinking of Mary. She’s the new proud mom, the one cradling her newborn infant with such admiration, pride and awe. No nativity scene would be complete without her and Joseph admiring the King the Kings. I suppose that’s what I’ve always envisioned when someone asks me if, as a Catholic, I worship Mary. How could I? She’s the mother of God. I admire her, I venerate her, I look up to her, I see a bit of her in every mother.
Today, we were able to attend Mass with all our children (minus Clare who was at her school) and it was quite lovely. Luke was busy, but quiet. The students were attentive, Fr. Daniel’s homily poignant and thought-provoking and the music was beautiful. We sang all my favorite songs. It was a pretty stellar way to start the day. December 8 is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Most folks mistakenly think it is Jesus’ conception, but rather we celebrate Mary’s immaculate conception. We believe in order for her to carry the son of God, she too, had to be without sin.
More than that, though, I find strength through her as a mother. During our wedding ceremony, Scott and I placed a rose at her statue as our good friend sang Ave Maria. He said to me, “I know you’ll be a great mom, like Mary.” I have no doubt that I’m barely a measurable fraction of what she was. But, as we’ve suffered (and grown and learned) with Luke, I’ve gained insight into what it may have been like for her to watch her son, Jesus, suffer. And, to feel the joy in his birth as well.
This is my favorite time of year, no doubt. I was fortunate enough to be “very” with child during the holidays when I gave birth to John Paul a few weeks after Christmas. It was awesome.
Happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception!