Mary, The Holy Mother of God

01-01-2023Weekly Reflection©LPi

We hide ourselves and our secrets from God because we are afraid. Even Mary can seem too perfect to approach. The shepherds find the strength to speak to Mary and Joseph at the moment they see the child in the manger. They open their hearts and share what they’ve experienced. Saint Luke writes of the shepherds, “When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child.” 

When I was a college student, I visited Rome. Beggars often approached and said, “Mangia? Mangia?” I didn’t speak Italian and thought, “Why are they speaking about the Christmas nativity scene?” My friend said, “Mangia means eat. They’re hungry.” That’s when I realized more deeply than ever before that Mary puts her baby in a place designed for hungry animals to eat. 

See that baby in the manger in your heart. Imagine Mary kneeling nearby looking at you with love. She doesn’t cling to God for herself. In that cave, from the beginning, she quietly offers her son to hungry souls. The manger means vulnerable self-offering love. That’s the sign. This week that same manger opens our hearts to tell Mary about our lives, too.

- Father John Muir