Christmas III – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
2020 – Cycle ABC
Numbers 6:22-27; Psalm 67; Galatians 4:4-7; Luke 2:16-21
When a woman becomes a mother, is that not the most earthy, physical, bodily and sensual act a human can experience?
What is it like to have another, unique and separate life growing, moving around…might we say, dancing, within you? Men and many women can only encounter this, so sensual of experiences, from the outside – feeling a kick protruding from of a wife’s bountiful womb.
Christmas is the most human of Christian feasts. What is there not to understand, when you look upon an image or encounter a real life mother and child. Do not even the most hardened and cold of hearts melt before such a reality? That is why I expect people are drawn more to Christmas than the more theological and heady encounters with the cross, as physical as pain and death are, and the out of time and space experience of the resurrection.
A pregnant woman, a mother and child are universal human experiences. They speak of new life and universal love. And isn’t that what God is striving to convey to us by having taken on such a personal form through such a bodily and sensual experience in Jesus of Nazareth?
The blood and water of birth, the pain and pushing; forcing new life into the open. Is it not a precursor of the blood and water flowing from the side of Christ on the cross; the pain and pushing of fallen creation into the openness of a new universe in God? Have you ever considered the crucifixion of Jesus as an act of divine birthing?
When we speak of Advent as preparing for Christmas, we are not just talking about waiting to commemorate the past historical birth of little baby Jesus. We are in fact welcoming the universal and living Christ, the Christ the fills the universe, the Christ that is forever being born in the human soul and into history. Christmas is not about a past event but an ever present reality for the Christian. Because, what good is it to me if Mary gave birth to the Son of God 2000 years ago and I do not give birth to the Son of God in my own person and time and culture? . . . We are all meant to be mothers of God. [Matthew Fox, paraphrasing Meister Eckhart]
[Ideas and phrases taken from the daily meditation for 28 December 2019 from the website for the Center for Action and Contemplation. See http://www.cac.org.]