How fitting that this reflection on the birth of our Lord should fall on Mothers Day. Mary is our mother too — ever since Jesus gave her to the Beloved Disciple, and him to her, from the Cross. She watches over us with motherly care, to be sure, but reading the infancy narratives draws our attention to another aspect of motherhood: that she was found to be WITH CHILD of the Holy Spirit; that she BORE Jesus in her womb and gave birth to him. In that sense, anyone who bears Jesus in his or her heart and proclaims him or does his work in the world is doing the same thing – and is a child of Mary.
Mary had just one biological son, Jesus. But in Revelation 12, John describes “the rest of [the] offspring” of the Woman who bears a male child who is to rule the nations — a direct reference to Christ and therefore to Mary, his mother. They are “those who keep the commandments and bear testimony to Jesus” (vs. 17). I wonder if he had the infancy narratives in mind when he wrote this, as the same Greek words are used:
“Those who keep the commandments”
Mary KEPT [suntereo] in her heart the word of God she heard from the shepherds (Lk 2:19); her children KEEP [tereo] the commandments or word of God (Rev 12).
“Those who bear testimony to Jesus”
“Mary was found to be WITH CHILD of the Holy Spirit” … ” a virgin shall CONCEIVE and bear a son” (Mt 1:18,23). Her children also BEAR testimony to Jesus. The English words “with child,” “conceive,” and “bear” all translate the same Greek word, “echo.”
As we meditate on his word today, let us show ourselves true children of Mary so that word might be conceived and born in us that we might bear it to the world!
Meditate on Luke 2:1-22, the mystery of the birth of Jesus, focusing on the Blessed Mother. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you be open to the word of God, to plant it in your heart and nurture it there.
What fruit of your meditation can you bear testimony to, today.
This is the third part of a series that follows the biblical story of Mary throughout May. To honor her during her month, we are diving deeper into eight key mysteries of the Rosary offering reflections on the Blessed Mother’s role through the Gospels and New Testament.
Need to catch up? You can find the other parts of the series here.