December 8 - Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

A Newly Converted Saul is Confounded by the Greatness of Mary (II)

It was then that a sad coldness spread over the faces of his guests. Barnabas said, "You have forgotten. Even God waited on her consent--this little maiden just past puberty--to bear His Son! She had been announced from the ages, this virgin child. She nurtured God at her breast; she taught Him to walk; she heard His first childish words. She made His clothing; she rocked Him in her arms; she babbled to Him as only mothers tenderly babble, as infants listen with delight and trust. She cooked His meat and His fish; she made His bread. She milked the goats for Him, and gathered the fruit. She attended to the needs of His human flesh. For thirty years He was hers alone, and what wonders must have been revealed to her! And how she must have brooded and wept over His cradle, understanding that one day He must leave her and bring the holy tidings to mankind, and that he must die under frightful circumstances. The Apostles, and Lucanus, have told us of these things. The Lord performed His first miracle at her loving request. It was He who gave her as Mother to all men, as He hung dying on the infamous cross. She was present when the fire of Pentecost descended on His weeping Apostles and disciples. Did it carefully refrain from blazing upon the Mother? "She was no 'mere woman,' Saul. She was the Mother of God. He loved her before He loved others in His human flesh. He ran beside her as a Child; He was helplessly dependent on her for nurture. We men love our mothers and reverence them. How much more, then, must God love and bless His mother! Nothing is impossible with God. If He chose to lift her uncorrupted body to Him, as the Messiah had been lifted, who shall dispute Him? (...) If the Lord could so honor and love His Mother, when then should men cavil? Had not she cried, "All generations shall call me blessed?" Saul shook his head. "It is a mystery," he murmured, with uneasiness. "I must meditate upon it." The Nazarenes (*Christians) received women among them with full equality and respect. They met in the houses of wives and mothers, to escape the exasperated wrath of their fellow Jews. They honored women because of the Mother of the Messiah.

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