ìAnd Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.î (Luke 2:19)
Raising children is always an adventure, but perhaps even more so for adoptive parents.
Often I am completely clueless about the whys and wherefores of my sonís personality because, unlike some, I canít look at him and see myself at his age.
And I learned pretty early on in my parenthood that it is a mistake to try.
Sure, this can be frustrating at times, but it can also be a delight. I canít count the number of times I have been bowled over by the creative insights Ben has or by his left-field sense of humor.
He sees things just a little differently from me, and I have come to cherish that difference as a surprise bonus of him being my son.
My experience with Ben gives me, I think, a little insight into what it must have been like for Mary and Joseph as they raised Jesus.
Even before his birth they knew that this child would be different and that they would have to get used to sharing him with the world.
We tend to think of Mary and Joseph as the calm center in the amazing series of events that surrounded the birth of their son, but that is only part of the picture.
They werenít the passive figures in the crËche, silent witnesses to Godís work. Through their courage, faith and deep love for their child, they helped shape salvation history.
As we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, it is good to reflect on her role in particular.
Mary was asked by God to do something incredible in becoming the mother of Jesus.
In saying ìyesî she knew that she was putting her reputation and even her life in danger, yet she trusted God so completely that she was willing to take the risk.
But more amazing even than Maryís faith in God was Godís faith in her. To this poor Jewish girl, practically still a child herself, was entrusted the care and nurturing of the one who carried with him the hopes of humankind.
Into her hands, literally, was placed Godís promise to the world.
Maryís story is a good reminder of how God chooses to partner with us in order to serve the needs of others.
We are Godís hands and feet and voice in the world. Realizing this should both humble and affirm us, for we are the bearers of both divine responsibility and divine trust.
So let us say a prayer for all the mothers and fathers in our world who, like Mary and Joseph, cradle Godís promise in their arms.
And let us remember especially those parents in our CFCA projects throughout the world who struggle heroically to give their children better lives than they themselves have known.
- Seeing the face of Christ through sponsorship [1st Advent reflection]
- God shares in our humanity [2nd Advent reflection]
- Choosing to be ‘eager,’ not anxious [3rd Advent reflection]
- God dares us to dream big [4th Advent reflection]
- Glorifying God with fully human lives [Christmas reflection]
- Recognizing Christ when we find him [3rd Christmas reflection]