Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Labor Pains!

No, not mine - although after all of the eating I did over Christmas, New Year, and Lily's birthday, I could understand if you had caught a sideways glance at me and wondered.  (No worries - I'm on it!  The cardio and calorie counting are back in full effect.)

I was actually thinking of the Blessed Mother's labor pains at the foot of the Cross.  Jesus looked down at her and John and said, "Woman, behold your son" (Jn.19:26).  It was the moment that He visibly, before the entire universe, declared her to be the Mother of the Church - Mother not just of the Head, but of the Body.  Jesus' sacrifice was what brought the Church into being, and Mary experienced His Passion as only a mother, as only His Mother, could.   Hers were the most excruciating labor pains ever felt.  Take a moment to meditate on this image, also from the Apostle John:

And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery. And another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon ... stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth;  she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God … Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus (Rev.12:1-17)

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