They were in Bethlehem when the time came for Mary to have her child, and she gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger. (Lk 2:6-7)
Pope John Paul II once stated : ‘In a unique way the face of the Son belongs to Mary. It was in her womb that Christ was formed, receiving from her a human resemblance which points to an even greater spiritual closeness... When at last she gave birth to him in Bethlehem, her eyes were able to gaze tenderly on the face of her Son.’
This painting by Arthur Hughes, captures for me the intimacy and tenderness that Pope John Paul II describes. Mary, framed by the presence of angels and cherubim, tenderly gazes upon her Son as she wraps him up to keep him warm in the cold manger. Mary’s head is almost bowing in reverence to her son, as if telling him “My life is for you, and yet you come to me, you trust in me to take care of you in the fragility of your infancy.
May this Gift of intimate communion with Christ be with you this Christmas and lead you to a happy and hope-filled New Year.
Fr. Stephen Otvos
Posted on Sunday December 18 2011
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