Mary has received a lot of news about this child of hers. She burst into a song of praise to the Lord when Elizabeth called her blessed for having believed the message of the angels regarding her giving birth to the Christ child. She pondered and treasured in her heart the news which the shepherds passed on from the angels. On the eighth day she and Joseph presented the baby Jesus in the Temple where Simeon and Anna spoke of blessing but also that a sword will pierce her own soul as well. Twelve years later Jesus turns up missing on their annual trek to observe the Passover. He was found debating theology with the teachers of the Temple. Mary again treasured this in her heart even though Jesus announced that the Temple was his Father’s house.
Mary has received a lot of news about this child of hers but how much do you think she understood? Yes, she sang the praises and treasured the hoped for blessings that are coming in Jesus’ birth. However was she really understanding what the sword in her soul would be? A mother’s pain of seeing her child killed on a cross.
This time of year we have heard much about the Christ child born in a manger. We are invited to embrace him and take him into our world. We do it with praise on our lips because here is the Son of God come down to us. Here is love that has and continues to be poured over us. As we embrace him, are we also prepared for a sword in our soul as well? Jesus’ birth was not to bless what we have made for ourselves but to bless us with the reign of God. The two are not one in the same.
So we join with Mary as we respond to the blessing that is born to us in Jesus. We can treasure this news in our hearts. We can sing the news with praise on our lips. How will this blessing unfold and take place? John the Baptist will now set the stage.