Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This Feast is of great importance in the Americas. It has great symbolism for First Nations Americans, as well as others who live there.
Each culture, each nation, have got their own way of expressing their faith, including the place of Mary in their lives.
A universal valuing of Mary in the Church is that she is the Mother of Christians. She gave birth to Christ and was connected through her life with Him and His mission.
We are invited to give birth spiritually. This is a dynamic and creative process.
To bring Christ to the world involves an ongoing commitment to growth, to discomfort, to love, and to surrender. This is not easy, but it is God’s invitation to us.
Like Mary we need to surrender to the Holy spirit. We need to let the Word take such root in us that it begins to be part of who we are.
Then, like Mary carrying Jesus, and indeed like any loving mother, we begin to gestate, nurture, and protect what is growing inside us until it is sufficiently strong so that it can live on its own, outside of us…..
Like Mary, we must give birth eventually. Like Mary and any mother, we need to continue nurturing the Word.
It took a long time for the Child Jesus to be the preacher, healer, the One who died for us…..
Mary pondered what was happening with Jesus. She pondered in her heart. She had to let herself be painfully stretched in understanding, in not knowing, in carrying tension, in letting go.
She, like any mother, had to set free the One who was so much hers!
This second wrenching is often more painful than childbirth!
Mary went through all this to give Christ to the world.
Our task is to give Christ to the world. We let the Word of God take root in our hearts. We, so to speak, become pregnant with the Word; give it nourishment of our life, submit to the pain that is demanded for it to be born to the outside.
We also ponder, accept the pain of not understanding, and of letting go. We are all part of giving flesh to faith in the world
“Unless a grain of wheat dies it cannot bear food.”
The Word of God (i.e. Jesus) continues to become flesh through us.
(Inspired by Fr. Ron Rolheiser)