Life can turn and change so quickly at times. We experience the highs and joys and then reality comes crashing in and we hit a low point. Things can happen so swiftly that we can feel like our minds are swirling in the currents of life. I often wonder how Mary must have felt during the weeks before and after the birth of Jesus. She had already made it through the initial difficulty of revealing to Joseph that she would have a miracle baby from God, Joseph not believing her, and then God speaking to Joseph so he would believe and take Mary as his wife. Then the long journey while due any day pregnant to the town of Bethlehem. A journey made riding on a donkey, not in a luxury car. Then they can’t find a room anywhere and Jesus is born in a stable where animals normally ate and slept. This is the baby that the angel told her is from God. The most special baby ever born and there they were in a stable.
Then shepherds come rushing to them after Jesus was born and tell them about angels visiting them to tell them about the birth of Jesus and of all the wonderful things the angels told them. The bible says that Mary-“treasured these things in her heart”. What wonderful memories to treasure: Gabriel’s message to her, the angel speaking to Joseph, and angels announcing the birth of Jesus to shepherds. Not to mention being visited by wise men from the East who brought expensive gifts to Jesus.
But there were also ominous warnings she heard such as what Simeon said to her about a sword piercing her soul and the angel speaking to Joseph to flee to Egypt because King Herod was seeking to kill the baby Jesus. These kind of events do not seem to fit in with a Joy to the World scenario of a “happiest time of the year” overly romanticized holiday we celebrate in America. They certainly not seem to fit with the joy a new mother would feel with her new baby.
I also wonder at times how Mary must have felt about the seeming contradiction between the song she sang under inspiration of the Holy Spirit when she visited her cousin. The one where she said all generations will call me blessed and even her older cousin called her blessed among women. Contrast with the gossip she must have endured in her hometown of Nazareth.
Mary went through all of these things as a result of saying yes to God’s plan. She stepped out in faith trusting God to take care of her. She stayed faithful to her call even to the point of watching her son die on the cross. She was there at the foot of the cross watching him die a horrible death. I wonder what she was thinking at that time. She would also see him after He was raised from the dead.
There may be conflicting views about Mary within Christendom, but the one thing we should all agree on is that Mary deserves to be respected. Respected for her faithfulness to God and willingness to serve God at her own expense and resulting difficulties. Respected for the example her life is of living for God. Most of all respected because she is the mother of Jesus and ministered to Jesus as His mother and was there for Him when He died.