We wish all our readers of this blog the peace and joy of Christmas

Christmas reflection

“God sent His Son born of a woman to enable us to be adopted as sons” – can we ever grasp the depth of this mystery which we celebrate tonight? Eternity will not be long enough to plumb its depths.

I would like to reflect a little on Mary’s role in this mystery of the Incarnation of the Eternal Word of God.  “She is the one who opened her heart to faith and her bosom to her Maker” as we read in St Bernard during the week.  She put her young life at the disposal of her Creator – and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.  But Mary’s role did not end there – she continued to ponder the Word in her heart and accompanied her Son to the foot of the Cross where she received another mission from His dying lips: “Mother, behold your son!” Yes Mary is to continue to bring forth Christ in all those entrusted to her until the end of time.

St Paul wrote to the Galatians: “My children, I am going through the pain of giving birth to you all over again, until Christ is formed in you – how I wish I could be there with you at this moment and find the right way of talking to you.” (Gal 4:19).  How these words can be applied to Mary – our gentle mother who longs to see Christ coming to birth in each of her children.  But like her Son she will not force herself on us – she waits patiently for our free response.  She knows from her own experience how powerful a free response to God’s invitation is. 

We may ask ourselves what this invitation may be?  At the foot of the Cross Mary heard those other words: “I thirst.”  Jesus thirsts for our love; He thirsts to be born again in each of our hearts and lives this Christmas. He thirsts that we can hear His word of love in the silence of our hearts; that we recognise Him in whatever guise He presents Himself at each moment of the day.  He thirsts that we believe in His love for each of us just as we are, even when we feel unworthy.  A few years before her death Mother Teresa of Calcutta wrote to her sisters and perhaps her words can speak to us again tonight: “Because Mary was there on Calvary she knows how real, how deep is Jesus’ longing for each of us.  Ask her to teach you …  her role is to bring us face to face with the love in the Heart of Jesus Crucified.  Hear her pleading: ‘Listen to Jesus’ thirst’ – let it be for each of us a Word of Life.” In our second reading tonight St Paul tells us that Christ “sacrificed himself for us in order to set us free and purify a people who would be his very own and have no ambition except to do good.” (Titus 2:14).  Yes Jesus thirsts for us to be his very own, He thirsts for our love, He thirsts that we believe in His personal love for each of us.

As the Word was formed in Mary’s womb through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are now invited to rest in her womb and by the power of the Holy Spirit be transformed there ever more perfectly into the image of Christ.  By remaining close to Mary we allow her to accomplish her mission in us by allowing her to form us into other Christs, into great saints, as sons in the Son, beloved of the Father.