“Let us celebrate with joy the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for from her arose the sun of justice, Christ our God.” — Entrance Antiphon for mass, September 8, 2015
Today, we mark Mary’s nativity, the birth of the mother of Jesus. Pausing to consider her life, her arrival to Anna and Joachim, her own humble journey and response to God’s call, I think about all of our mothers — all whose arrivals have precipitated our own and made our lives possible. I wonder: What does the path toward parenting look like? What is the journey that informs a mother’s “yes” to life? What, in Mary’s life, cultivated her capacity to respond to God’s invitation to bear Jesus? What, in our own lives, nurtures love and allows us to be present to the call to bear life in our unique ways?
It’s like Mother’s day, this feast day, this invitation to meditate on Mary’s birth. I think about my own mom, and the mother that I am coming to be. I think about my child and her role in shaping my call and response to God, daily, in saying “yes” to love. To Nurture. To be here.
Rising late and dressing for school this morning, my five year old kindergartner stopped to sit cross-legged on her bed.
“Mom, can you do this?” she asked, bringing her hands to her heart center.
I told her, “Yes!” and sat opposite on another bed. Then she started “omm-ing.”
The principal at our daughter’s school told us our job as parents was to bring our kids to school calmly. So, even though we were running late, I joined Marguerite in her “omms.” I copied her posture, brought my hands to the center of my chest, closed my eyes, and I breathed deeply.
Then, my five year old said, “Now imagine you are flying in the sky.”
It was a moment we both shared –where she lead. She walked me through this way of being still, if only for a few seconds, but that helped ground us, her, our day.
I return to Mary’s birth. I imagine Anna and Joachim’s great joy at her arrival and the outpouring of love for their daughter. I try to imagine Mary as a kindergartner, leading her own parents through rituals of calm and postures of meditation. I think of God delighting, too, in this child, this girl as she grows and becomes a woman.
As this day unfolds, and this feast of Mary’s birth makes its way into our own rhythms of life, I invite us to note the way Mary arrives, stirs, interrupts, and inspires our paths. How do we know her birth? How do honor our own becoming? What ways can we mark, now, and in days to come, this feast of her nativity and the ultimate birth of Christ among us?