Today is Hari Ibu (Mother’s Day) in Indonesia. In Indonesia it’s not about celebrating mothers like in North America, but it’s about ‘celebrating’ women. However, right now I want to talk about mothers and their relation with Christmas. Is there any connection between mothers and Christmas? Well, of course there is.
I agree to what Scott Hahn alludes about mothers. Mothers are the most difficult people to study. They elude our scrutiny. By nature and by definition, they are relational. They can be considered as mothers only in their relationship with their children.
Nature keeps mother and child so close as to be almost indistinct as individuals through the first nine months of life. Their bodies are made for each other. During pregnancy, they share the same food, blood, and oxygen. After birth, nature places the child at the mother’s breast for nourishment. The newborn’s eyes can see only far enough to make eye contact with Mom. The newborn’s ears can clearly hear the beating of the mother’s heart and the high tones of the female voice. Nature has even made a woman’s skin smoother than her husband’s, the better to nestle with the sensitive skin of a baby. The mother, body and soul, points beyond herself, to her child.
Yet as close as nature keeps us to our mothers, they remain mysterious to their children. They remain as mysteries. In someone’s words, “A thing can sometimes be too close to be seen.”
As the Mother of God, Mary is the mother par excellence. So, as all mothers are elusive, she will be more so. As all mothers give of themselves, Mary will give more. As all mothers point beyond themselves, she will to a much greater degree. As all mothers are ready to sacrifice just about anything for their children, Mary will lovingly sacrifice to a higher degree.
Mary’s role is not coincidental in God’s plan ~ it has context in salvation history. God chose to make His redemptive act inconceivable without her. She humbly accepts it. She points out, she is only doing God’s bidding, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). And, because of and through her too we know her Son, Jesus… her Divine yet human Son… The Redeemer. So, you see the connection now.
This year has witnessed the birth of many of my friends’ babies. Dear friends, I wish you strength, patience and wisdom to raise your children.
I’m waiting for the addition bundle of joy from my sister next year…
Her baby, newly breathing, with wailing needful cry,
by Mary kissed and cradled, is lulled in lullaby.
Long months of hope and waiting,
the thrill and fear of birth, are crowned with exultation,
and God is on the earth.
The eyes that gaze at Mary have yet to name
or trace the world of shape and colour,
or recognize a face;
yet Holiness Eternal is perfectly expressed
in hands that clutch unthinking,
and lips that tug the breast.
The milk of life is flowing as Mary guides and feeds –
her wordless Word, embodied in infant joys and needs.
Enormous, formless strivings,
and yearnings deep and wide,
be cradled in communion, are fed and satisfied.
How motherlike the wisdom that carried
and gave birth to all things, seen and unseen,
and nurtured infant earth:
unstinting, unprotected, prepared for nail and thorn,
constricted into maleness,
and of a woman born.
By: Brian Wren and David Haas
Mom, I love you… Thank you for your unconditional love. Miss you…