“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. And the One seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ ” Rev. 21:3-5
As the Nativity of our Lord approaches, my heart is drawn to reflect upon motherhood. This week, especially with the feast of the Immaculate Conception, I reflected on our Lady… on her maternity to Jesus and all of the children of God. I contemplated her humility, her depth of faith and her love.
Every year, I am drawn deeper into reflection by this image.
In this image, I see a young woman, blessed with a child. I see in her face the burden of her call. I imagine her eyes here, closed in prayer and faith…as Joseph leads her on the path God has called them upon. What hurdles they have already crossed, together. What pains and Joys lie ahead! Did she really comprehend the impact this Child would have on the world? Did she know in her heart the depth of pain she would come to endure, because of her great love for the Lord? What were her emotions? What thoughts ran through her and Joseph’s head as they made the slow and long journey to Bethlehem?
Upon further prayer, I then focused on the children I long to see in India. These children anxiously await the birth of the Christ child. They also anxiously await a mother’s love. I see the gift our Lord gave us in Mary…mother of all. But, I also know the ache in the depths of our hearts to be loved by an earthly mother. I experience the desire to feel that love as well.
With the holidays upon us, I cannot help but miss my mom a little (A LOT) more! Every day the pain, the sadness, the emptiness, the longing to see her or hear her say, “I love you, my princess”…grows just a little bit stronger. February 6, 2017, will be 11 years since my mom died. Eleven years…but the pain still runs to the depths of my heart. I cannot help but feel united to the precious orphans I am blessed to be going to love. I offer my pain and sadness in union with theirs.
A beautiful friend of mine called me out of the blue last night…that phone call was so needed. By the end of the call, I had opened up and the many tears, painful thoughts, the ache for “just one more hug,” etc. that I had been holding in for weeks, came flowing out. As I shared with her, I also began to reflect upon, Mother Mary. To remember the way that she has filled that void in a way no other could. Since then, my heart has found peace and rest under the mantle of Our Lady.
My favorite title/icon of Our Lady is called the “Panagia Paramythia Icon.” As I reflect on her motherhood, I am drawn to pray before this image. Panagia-is Greek for, “All Holy.”
Because of Our Lady’s, “Yes,” to God’s will, the Savior was born in a manger…born to come and “make all things new.” The pain and aching in orphaned hearts will be healed, the many tears will be wiped away. I can only imagine that Our Lady, in her maternity, will be the one to wipe that final tear from our faces.
So, this third week of Advent, let us be Joyful. Joyful in the hope of Emmanuel. Joyful in the knowledge that there will be an end to suffering and abandonment. Joy in the “mothers” that the Lord blesses all of His children with. Joy…even in the aching pain.