Receive the Love of God Through Mary

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"Receive the love of God through Mary" by Melanie Jean Juneau (CatholicMom.com)

Fra Angelico [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I must admit, as a woman, I have an advantage over men. Since I was pregnant with two of my children during Advent, I can identify with the pregnant Mary in a deeper way and receive the gift of new life just like she did in Bethlehem. One of my babies was born on Christmas Eve and the second, my youngest child, on Jan. 7, the day after Epiphany

We had just moved to our new farm with a larger house since I was expecting our ninth child. My oldest child had started high school, while five others attended a small Catholic school with 10 grades from junior kindergarten to grade 8.

One day in December, the  priest led an Advent reflection in the gym and asked the children, “Who is waiting for the birth of a new brother or sister this Advent?”

Five hands went up.

“Oh, my isn’t this wonderful,” the priest exclaimed, without really identifying each face, “So many families are joining Mary, waiting for the birth of a baby!”

Then a smart-aleck grade 8 student yelled out, “No, Father, those are all Juneau kids with their hands raised!”

I sometimes joke that I needed to experience birth so many times because I really did not get what God was trying to tell me the first time around. The Father is so kind, he repeated His lesson again and again.

Mary and Her Baby

Mary must have experienced what all mothers experience the moment Jesus was born, but I imagine her joy was even more profound as all the angels rejoiced around them. All women forgot the exhaustion and pain of labour the moment we hold our newborn. For me, a surge of motherly love rose up in my heart combined with a sense of awe at the miracle of creation as I examined tiny, perfectly formed fingers and toes.

Mary and the Infant Jesus Bonded

Imagine Mary gazing into the eyes of the Incarnation and soaking in His love. Why, there is something about an ordinary baby’s open, trusting gaze that literally draws love from us, never mind looking into the face of the Infant God.

A newborn can see clearly for about 8 inches, just far enough to focus intently on an adult’s face. It is almost as if the initiative to bond comes from the baby first, especially when I consider their fierce hand grip they clutched fingers and clothing. To ensure that mothers nurse, babies are born with a powerful rooting reflex and a cry which literally triggers the let-down reflex for milk, soaking clothes if mothers do not start nursing quickly enough.

Babies do not even have a sense of themselves apart from their mothers for the first year because their whole identities are intricately entwined with mum. I would think Jesus went through this same stage of development. No wonder Mary is the Mediatrix of All Graces;  she soaked in the love of God and simply allows it to flow through her to us.

To receive this love of God flowing through Mary, we simply must give our own fiat to God with her as she said, “I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be to me according to your Word” (Luke 1:38). If our “Yes” to the Lord is whispered from our centre, the place where our deepest identity is rooted, we will experience a rebirth this Christmas season. We may feel we do not have enough faith to receive such a wonderful gift of life, but God is more powerful than our doubts and hears the longings of our heart.


Copyright 2017 Melanie Jean Juneau

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About Author

Melanie Jean Juneau is a mother of nine children who blogs at joy of nine9. Her writing is humorous and heart-warming; thoughtful and thought-provoking. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life. Melanie is the administrator of ACWB, the Editor in Chief at CatholicLane, CatholicStand, Catholic365 , CAPC & author of Echoes of the Divine.

2 Comments

  1. Melanie,
    I loved your post because I have also reflected on (and know I will continue to do so) all that we can learn from our gift of motherhood. Right now I am pregnant with our 5th. The last time I was pregnant a couple of years ago, it helped me to enter more deeply into the Lenten season, such as thinking about the connection between the Agony in the Garden and preparing for an upcoming labor. I appreciated how your post helped me to think about how pregnancy and motherhood can help us to understand the different liturgical seasons.

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