There is a popular song making the rounds in our churches and over the media containing the words, “MARY DID YOU KNOW WHEN YOU KISSED YOUR BABY, YOU KISSED THE FACE OF GOD?” These few words hold within themselves the truth of Christmas, the truth of Christ’s Incarnation. As we kneel in adoration at the creche we are in fact looking into the face of God, for in the mystery of the Word made flesh God has caused a new light to shine in our hearts, seeing there the glory of God in the face of Jesus. Is it any wonder that this feast of all feasts is one that we celebrate with the heart touched by the wonder of God, and so we sing: “we would embrace thee, with love and awe; who would not love thee, loving us so dearly?” “O come let us adore Him!” In Christ’s birth, therefore, poetry and faith proceeding out of the heart see not only that He comes into the world, but that the world goes out to meet Him. And so we are invited always to greet Him at the creche, finding Him there in the loving arms of Mary His mother. It is as if faith says to God, “In Your love for us You gave us Your Son; and we in love for You, give You Mary the Virgin Mother, for Mary is the very best and most beautiful fruit of all creation.” As Associates of Our Lady of Walsingham let us always keep in mind that all the feasts we celebrate, all the prayers and love we offer as addressed to the Mother of God are rooted in Christ’s birth, Christmas. It is Mary who gives Christ to us in Her “Child bearing,” and Christ, from His cross, who gives Mary into our care, and we into her care.
At the heart of Christmas night is this image of Mother and Child bathed in blinding light, surrounded by the angelic host and frightened shepherds. It is here that everything which had been torn apart by sin and the hostility of human pride is once again united, put back together again: heaven and earth, God and man, nature and spirit. The hymns we sing remind us that the whole creation once again becomes a hymn of praise, a song of love, all of nature becomes a manger filled with the fullness of God. Here Mother and Child bear the image of God’s eternal love for the world and the world’s eternal love for God are united, brought to completion and victorious in Christ who visits and redeems His people, setting them free from the bonds of sin and death.
As you celebrate the twelve days of Christmas in wonder and awe of what has come to pass in the birth of a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, ponder these things with Mary in your heart. Faith grounded in loving trust, in wonder and awe at the ways of God with us precedes our understanding. It is the heart that teaches the mind. We believe in order that we might understand. Allow yourself to be touched by God’s grace and the loving embrace of Him who is our Savior, the Child for us sinners, poor and in a manger.
May Almighty God bless you with His grace; Christ give you the joys of everlasting life; and to the fellowship of Mary and all the Saints above may the King of Angels bring us all.