Wednesday, March 25, 2015

And the Word became a clump of cells

And dwelt among us.

As I sit here halfway cooked with this latest addition to our little family, feeling the effects of pregnancy with every fiber of my being, I'm also thinking about Mary.

I'm thinking about how her life changed radically with a message from an angel, a shocking invitation  into something so far beyond her own plans that all she could manage was calm and reasonable "Yes, but how can this be?" - going straight for the logical inquiry over the more obvious "why is there a terrifying angel appearing in my room," or the more nuanced "God wants to have a baby with me?!" route.

One thing that didn't seem to have occurred to her?

To question whether or not there was, in fact, a baby involved.

God's proposal to humanity, sealed in the flesh through Mary's fiat, was - and is - a Person.

Not a potential person. Not an eventual person.

A real person. From the moment of His conception, miraculous (note: NOT immaculate. Wrong feast day) thought it was, He was both fully divine and fully human, and Mary became fully a mother that day when she gave her consent and conceived by the Holy Spirit.

Which is why the argument against the personhood of the unborn has always struck me as so profoundly stupid in light of the Incarnation.

He was there, from the beginning. His little cousin John the Baptist knew as much, and he leapt in recognition at 12-week-old embryonic Jesus from his own uterine perspective.

Any woman who has ever been pregnant can attest to the incredible other-ness of being with child. From the very earliest days following conception, that baby is there, growing and changing and developing as humans continue to do over their entire lifespan, but undeniably and irreversibly there. You can kill the baby at any point, of course, but you can't undo what has already been done: the creation of an entirely new human person.

And that's what makes today so special. That's why if you count forward in time 9 months from today in the Church calendar you land on the embodiment of the Incarnation: Christmas. He arrives today in a  real sense, tucked safely in the womb of His Mother and ours, and while He remains hidden for another 9 months of growth and development, history is forever altered because He now exists in human flesh.

So happy feast day, Mama Mary, from one gestating mother to another. Thanks for changing the course of salvation history and loosing the bonds of Eve's disobedience by your generous and unreserved "yes."

We owe you - quite simply - everything.


  1. Love!

    PS gestating is not my fav right now, I have extra respect for the "yes"

  2. This is awesome! Love the simplicity. I don't know why people find it so hard to understand, myself, but I did used to be one of those people many moons ago. Also hard to understand is the Protestant aversion to Mary when you consider how practically all of eternity hinged on her answer to Gabriel's message. "Just a vessel" indeed!

  3. You reminded me of a video clip I saw a while back of a prominent Catholic pro-choice politician:

    Politician: I was asked what my favorite word was. That's easy! My favorite word is the Word who was made flesh and dwelt among us.

    (time lapse)

    Reporter: (repeats above quote) Now when exactly was the word made flesh? Was it at the Annunciation or the Nativity?

    Politician: stutters, stammers, evades

    ANY sort of support for abortion as somehow morally neutral boggles my mind.

    1. I remember that, I think!

      The poor logic/evasion/intentional blindness/justification for abortion also boggles my mind. How can a mother grieve so deeply to lose her 8-week pregnancy through miscarriage (or her 13-week, or her 25-week, or her stillborn baby!), and the world still won't call abortion what it is...killing a person. :(

  4. Thanks for sharing this. Before I became Catholic, I totally did not get this. It was actually accepting the teaching on the Immaculate Conception (the one about Mary, y'know) that made me pro-life. Non-Catholics generally think about Mary so little that this thought honestly never occurs to them (like with me).

  5. I've always been pro-life, and my mom had some heart-breaking miscarriages, some of which were really really early. I always had this nagging doubt if I would see them in heaven, I mean, did they "count"? Could my grief be ended when I saw their faces in heaven, or was it like Hans Christians Little Mermaid with half souls....(I know it sounds ridiculous out loud, it was emotional)
    Anyway, my (then-future) husband pointed out that the soul has to begin when the body does, otherwise there would have been a time when Jesus was not both fully God and fully man (that is, he's have been a man's body without God's/His spirit), and pointed out that the church fathers had always said Jesus was God from the moment of conception, hence, he had to have His soul.
    It was then, that I knew I wanted to marry him :)

    1. That is such a sweet story! Your husband sounds so fantastic.

      I'm so sorry about your mom's miscarriages; I hope it helps to know that God created each of them on purpose and you will get to meet them someday.


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