It’s a new year and I need to write more. I find myself in a funk in terms of my writing and my commitment to that. So I’m aiming for a post per day in 2017 and hope you will join me.
A New Year always lends itself to half-hearted commitments and I fear this may be one of mine, as time and what I like to do often doesn’t link together. But one needs to start somewhere and mine begins here on this first day of a new year.
Rebirth lends itself to also thinking about motherhood, on this Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. Mary’s own life, I imagine, went through a rebirth of sorts as she was told that she would be the “God-bearer” (theotokos). A Virgin, Mary is told of this miraculous birth that will come about with her assent. I imagine that this likely brought both excitement and fear, as most transitions do.
But here Mary goes anyway. Bravely. Knowing that God will literally be with her with every step.
Can we believe the same thing?
Is God with us with every step of our lives? Can we trust that no matter what befalls us in this coming year that God will indeed be with us? And moreover, can we trust that Mary understands the fear that we may feel in these days?
When our world is turned upside down, it is Mary who can mother us not merely into a calm and gentle journey. No! Mary jaunts with us down the rocky road, fraught with all kinds of trouble that might exist. But she helps us arm ourselves with God’s trust. Even at the hour of our death, Mary reminds us of God’s care for us, prodding us to accept that God’s love is stronger than our tragedies, God’s mercy destroys our sinfulness and that we can ease into the end of our humanity, knowing that God holds our own union with divinity in his waiting arms.
My own mother is now 88 and I am thankful to still have her with me, albeit far from me in these days. She needs mothering now in her golden years and finds it difficult, I fear, to accept that. What I have come to realize however, that both my mother and father (also, now 88) have made it to this age with very few resources. And so, perhaps their trust and dependance on God is far stronger than my own. So I have come to trust in their own faith, contributing when asked, but respecting their independence and moreover, enjoying their company when I am together with them.
Perhaps, that is what rebirth really means? We look at something in a new way and committing to move forward not in desolation, but in peace.
And with Mary mothering us into each new year.