Every year at Christmastime, I think of Mary. After all, as Jesus’ mother, she helped make the first Christmas happen, and in fact gave us our very first Christmas gift — and what a Gift! I always think of her thankfully. But sometimes, I think of her curiously too: from the Angel Gabriel’s visit, all the way to the stable, what was it like for her, a young girl, to undergo the unbelievable experience of Jesus’ coming? When she first saw her Baby, and through all the years of silently gazing at Him, what thoughts did she hold in her heart?

Mary was a mother, too, a parent like you and me. And we parents know about loving, silently or otherwise. We know about waiting. We know about aching. There are two reasons however, for Mary to be just that much different from us. The first is that He was her Child. And the second is that we are her children, too.

Mary, Mama! This Christmas, I sing a Psalm in praise of how you love just that much deeper, how you wait just that much more patiently, and how you ache just that much more than I can every imagine!

The FIAT, Mary and Me
…the Joyful Mysteries Psalm…

It must have been fearsome,
when the Angel came with his strange tidings;
any other young girl might have cringed.
But Mary, knowing she belonged to God,
The prospect of denunciation,
even of stoning and death,
was terribly real.
But Mary didn’t look around.
She looked above, and she said yes.

How far was Elizabeth’s place, I wonder?
To travel there in delicate condition
was surely no joyride.
“But she needs me,” Mary must have thought,
“I bear Good News,” as she slowly progressed.
What does it take to be so giving, so selfless?
O My Creator, show me, and teach me,
I want to be like Mary!

It must have been tiresome,
the trip to Bethlehem.
Donkey rides and third trimesters
aren’t the best match, for sure.
And learning, inn by inn,
that there was no place to rest,
was certainly depressing.
In her place I would have regretted my decision.
But Mary’s resolve was firm,
and her silence was faithful,
and her Child was born: Jesus!

I think of Mary,
and my heart is moved to love You.

Two young pigeons for the temple … so humble!
especially knowing that her arms bore the Emmanuel.
It must have been difficult,
living a life of poor simplicity, let alone embracing it.
And Simeon’s words: A sword shall pierce your heart!
must have been a puzzle.
But Mary, even then, already knew the way of Jesus.

And where could He be?
Three days’ searching and nowhere to be found!
Back, back to Jerusallem, to find Him at last,
but only to be chastised, it seemed,
by a wayward Adolescent!
This, in exchange for FIAT?
Yet she kept all these silently in her heart.

She followed Jesus, may I follow her to Him.
O Father! Make me like Mary, I want to bear Jesus, too,
and show Him to others, too.
Yes, I say, Yes!

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