“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother never. A mother is something absolutely new.” – Osho
The birth of Christ, the reason for the season. Advent is a time of preparation, awaiting anxiously the birth of our Lord and remembering that God loved us so much that He allowed the perfect soul of Jesus to become man to teach us to LIVE our true purpose… to love one another. But let us not forget that in the birth of Christ we also witness the birth of a mother, our Mother.
In a previous blog post I wrote that I believe the souls of our children choose their parents prior to their birth. Let’s consider this idea for a moment with Jesus, Mary and Joseph. I realize I may ruffle a few feathers with my less than traditional ideas, but at least I can challenge your thinking while you mentally prepare your argument against me.
Many of us have been taught that God chose Mary to be the mother of Christ because she was born without “original sin.” What does that mean exactly? Well, if you are Roman Catholic, it means that Mary did not have the sin of Eve placed upon her. What is the sin of Eve? In her disobedience to God, Eve pridefully ate from the tree of knowledge and fell into dissonance with God. Okay, okay, enough with the catechism. I humbly request that you allow me to put a new age spin on the concept of “original sin.” First, let’s ditch the word “sin.” I prefer to think that through the portal of birth most of us forget our divine connection to God. Whether it is on purpose or not, we are born having to rediscover that we are all sons and daughters of the Divine. Mary was born without this veil clouding her connection to God. She was always aware that God lived in her and she was created to be a vehicle of His Divine love.
This is why Mary was the perfect vessel, nurturer and teacher for Jesus. She had the knowledge, love and wisdom to coach the young Jesus for He too was born knowing that God lived in Him. Jesus required a mother who could guide Him as He questioned the actions of those around Him, realizing that not everyone carried the reality of God in their hearts. He also needed a mother who was strong enough in her love and trust in God that she could support her son through every trial and tribulation regardless of her own emotional trauma. Our maternal instincts drive us to great lengths to protect our children. Mary was just as human as you and I and I believe she struggled against her maternal instincts to protect her son and her unbridled faith in God’s plan.
And we cannot leave Joseph out of the equation. He wasn’t just the God loving man who blindly did what the angels told him. He had to be the father/parent that Jesus needed to nurture Him into manhood. The church has taught us to often see Jesus as God alone, conveniently forgetting that he is/was the Son of God who became MAN. He lived in a MAN’S body. He participated in male Hebrew rituals. He was raised to be an upstanding, Hebrew MAN in His community. Joseph was not only able to look past the scandal caused by Mary’s pregnancy, but also to love, nurture and raise the human child that was Jesus. There is a saying that says it takes a special man to love and raise another man’s children. Joseph was this man; the kind of man who loved with a pure heart and saw that every person is worthy of respect and love, regardless of their situation.
Yes, we should always be joyful and grateful for the birth of Christ, but when a child is born into a family we don’t just celebrate the infant. We celebrate the birth of a family, a new cohesive unit that is now forever entangled in love and commitment to one another. As Mary became the mother of Jesus, she was graced with becoming the nurturing mother to us all. She guides us through our questions always reminding us that God lives in us. Joseph lives as the role model to fathers everywhere teaching men to love with purity and without pride. And then there is Jesus, the Son, who trusted the parents He chose to always love Him unconditionally. At this Christmas season, let us all aspire to be this kind of family.
Peace be with you,