Jogging near our home last night, I was disturbed to see a few houses with Christmas lights already off, and Christmas trees already tossed. It must be sad to be a Christian (or non-believer) whose Christmas celebration begins and ends the 25th. Talk about Bowl Week, the Catholic post-Christmas week-long extravaganza is a saint-studded line-up starting with Steven, John the Apostle, the Holy Innocents, Thomas Becket, the Holy Family, Pope St. Sylvester (and, perhaps soon, Pope St. B16!) and finishing with the greatest saint of all, Mary Mother of God.
Jesus, of course, is ‘the reason for the season,’ and these saints were ‘not the Light, but testified to the Light’—and no one’s life was more of a testimony to Jesus than Mary’s. Not only conceived without sin, but conceiving Christ and never sinning herself, Mary perfectly executed God’s ‘game plan,’ and became not only the greatest saint, the best intercessor, but our biggest ‘fan.’
Jesus was ‘full of grace and truth,’ or mercy and justice—but Mary was ‘only’—and also—‘full of grace.’ To face Judgement Day staring down eternity with equal parts justice and mercy is a sobering thought—but with Mary’s prayers, I figure my chances for mercy doubles… and as a betting man (especially on Notre Dame), I’ll take those odds any day… but especially THIS day…
In other words, while it is always his mercy that makes Christmas Merry, it is Mary who brings us Christ’s mercy. Through her prayers; may the Mother of God become your mother too!
Notre Dame Our Mother—Pray for us!