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The good news for the day JANUARY 1, 201\

Octave Day of Christmas – Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God (18)

The shepherds hurried into Bethlehem where they found Mary and Joseph—and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they shared the information they had been told about this child. Everybody who heard it were surprised by what was told them by the shepherds. (Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.) Then the shepherds went back to their sheep, appreciating and praying praise to God for all they had heard and seen—just as it had been told to them. When the ritual eight days were completed for his circumcision, He was given the name Jesus, the name given him by the messenger of God before He was even conceived in the womb. (Luke 2)

The picture of the adoring shepherds, plus the picture of Jesus being circumcised and named in Jerusalem—these coalesce around the parenthetical—and personal—inclusion of the reference to Mary.

Too many people adore Mary, putting her on a pedestal—a statue person, a demi-god, a way-out-of-reach star-studded Queen—the way too many people in the past have. A writer some time ago—Henry Adams—pointed out how the Middle Ages did that to her—made her an object rather than a person—into a super-revered but distant “it.”

Mary was a mom—more a soccer mom, a harried, busy, occupied, concerned, involved, anxious mom. The sooner we see her as a “mom,” the sooner we can see her NOT as a stone “it,” a female beyond reach— but as a “thou”—the more we can appreciate ALL of us as human children of our Father. She was a daughter of God, like half the population of the earth.

The Good News is that Mary is “one of us,” a heart authentically full of anxious love for her baby. However great history has made her—the face is—she cared for this baby of hers—until she could no longer—on the cross. Look at her hugging her Baby. She is one of us.

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