Did you ride a donkey on the long, bumpy road to Bethlehem swollen and ready to burst?
Did you give birth to Jesus among the smell of animals and the stickiness of straw?
Did you weep with joy when Jesus was placed in your arms for the first time?
Did you share your son, God’s son, first with visitors you did not know?
Did you smell his hair, touch his skin, and kiss his head?
Did you nurse him at your breast?
Did you calm his cries?
DId you give him “tummy-time”?
Did you watch him learn to crawl, then walk?
Did you teach him to read?
Did you sing to him?
Did you laugh with him?
Did you play outside with him and watch how quickly his knees got covered in dirt?
Did you teach him table manners, how to play with other children, and be respectful to all?
Mary, did you potty train, Jesus?
Did you ever lose your patience or get frustrated at your little toddler’s relentless energy and curiousity?
Did you ever question your ability to be his mother and to love him as he needs to be loved?
Did you ever wonder how to share the love of God, his father, and our father, with him?
How did you raise your son, God’s son, to be the person he was meant to be?
Who is Mary to you?
What can we learn from this great woman?
Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, where we, as Catholics, celebrate and honor Mary’s conception and freedom from original sin.
This Advent, I’ve been reflecting on Mary as the new teenage Mom who gave birth far from her own mother and everyone she knew, and then ended up with a brand new baby in a foreign country. Her “yes” didn’t end at the Annunciation, God continued to call her to very heroic pursuits while she was simultaneously doing the very human tasks of caring for an infant. And all without disposable diapers!