Join us as we reflect, ponder, and pray together inspired by today's Gospel.
Today’s Gospel contains a long, long, long list of the names of the ancestors of Jesus. Most of the details of their lives are lost to history. We may not know their favorite meal, or exactly how many children they each had. No archeological or textual evidence will ever reveal whether they were robust or sickly, how they celebrated their birthdays or mourned the death of their parents.
We can be sure of exactly one fact about all but one of them, though: they were sinners.
Sin after sin, great and small, occasional and habitual. Their ramifications and effects echo down through the ages. As far as they stand from us on the timeline of history, their sins are ours even yet: lust, pride, greed.
But buried underneath the mountain of the weight of those generations of sin, one truth echoed even stronger than the sin: God is with us.
God is not just with us. God is in us. God came to us through and because of and in spite of this long list of sinners. At the very base of the mountain, of course, like a pristine and unspoiled cave sheltering a diamond, we find the one who alone in all of this lengthy history was prepared and perfected to bear the Savior for us: Mary.
Can you imagine of what iron and grace she must have been wrought, to stand alone beneath the crush of that immeasurable pile -- the mistakes of ancestors trying to do right but somehow getting it at least a little wrong? To form the walls of the cave and not collapse, but to create within its sheltering walls the very incarnation of love we all most desperately needed?
God in his mercy worked that miracle for her, so that God-with-Mary could become God-with-us.
How can you inhabit the sacred space where Christ was formed beneath Mary's heart, and reform yourself in the image you find there?
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. Thank you for your humility and strength in bearing for us so great a Savior.
Copyright 2020 Christy Wilkens
About the Author
Christy Wilkens, wife and mother of six, is an armchair philosopher who lives in Austin, TX. She writes at FaithfulNotSuccessful.com about disability, faith, doubt, suffering, community, and good reads. Her first book, Awakening at Lourdes: How an Unanswered Prayer Healed Our Family and Restored Our Faith, a memoir about a pilgrimage with her husband and son, will be released by Ave Maria Press in 2021.