Detail of the Virgin Mary and Christ Child,
Church of al-Adhra, Syria (photo courtesy of STLCC)
Prioress General Sister Pat shared this reflection with us, and we thought it fitting to share with you on this joyous day, the first of 2012 and the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God:
Do you ever wonder who it was who wrote the Book of Genesis? Surely it was someone in possession of a reflective soul and eyes that saw more than what was immediately in front of them. Questions that had no immediate or facile answers arose in this pondering mind. Questions such as: from whence did the sun come to rule the day, the moon and stars to rule the night? How did the boundaries of the sea come to be and the contours of the dry land take shape? From where did the first seed come? What spark ignited the process of knitting together flesh and blood to form a human being?
These eyes that saw with a soul’s understanding, discerned something that went beyond ordinary comprehension and outside the realm of natural time. And so, “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…Then God looked over all he had made and he saw that it was excellent in every way.” (Gen 1:1,31)
This sage author captured and inscribed for us God’s intention toward us from the very beginning and throughout the passage of time: excellent and unrelenting love. Unrelenting through times of disobedience, mistrust, chasing false gods, even assuming authority over life and death. Unrelenting in appointing leaders and judges, in sending prophets and seers, and in anointing kings who would stand in God’s stead to guide, care for and comfort the people.
Still, it was not enough. Efforts to work through these chosen ones fell short of hoped-for excellent outcomes. It would take something more, someone with the very heart and mind of God to rouse souls wearied by the escalating inhumanity surrounding them and the lack of hope engulfing them. In short, to restore the excellence that God intended and desires for his children.
And so it came about that a young virgin consented to bear a child, that a son was conceived who would save his people, that cosmic forces came together to announce a birth. In this child unrelenting love was manifested as the almighty reduced itself to the vulnerability of a newborn baby, the infinite fitted itself into a finite body, the eternal subjected itself to a human lifespan, and perfect, unrelenting love exposed itself to the cruelty of humankind.
We Christians recognize in the gracious act of Jesus’ Incarnation a God of excellent and unrelenting love. Our souls cannot help but proclaim the greatness of the Lord as our spirits rejoice in God our savior.