I often find myself pondering in wonderment our Blessed Mother and that incredible night in Bethlehem. I think of God choosing her to be the first tabernacle of our Lord - how her womb cradled him while her blood ran through his veins. He must have looked like her - he had her DNA.
I think about Joseph and how special he must have been - especially on that night in the stable - and how he more than likely delivered the baby Jesus himself. There was not much time to search for a midwife and, besides, who did they know? Joseph was probably the first to hold him and wrap him in swaddling clothes.
Did you know … in the Middle East, people who traveled long distances often encountered challenges. In the unlikely event of a death, the travelers wrapped a thin, gauzelike cloth around their waist many times. If someone died on the journey, the others would use this cloth, referred to as "swaddling clothes" to wrap the corpse before burying them.
What a significant sign for us: Jesus wrapped in clothes that represent death and placed in a manger that represents food. He was to die for us and to to become for us in the Eucharist. What must Mary have thought? Did she ponder all these signs?
I think that in that stable when the Shepherds and Kings came to see the baby Jesus, Mary held her baby out to them and asked, “Would you like to hold him?” Can you image how they felt holding the Son of God? I believe she holds him out to us spiritually today asking us to hold him in our hearts and in that encounter he transforms us.
- by Dawn Rusinko (CLEM 2010)