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  • Sarah Raad

Stable

Handmaids are servants.And servants do not ask questions of their master.Handmaids simply obey!

The Adoration of the Shepherd (L'adoration des Bergers) (Georges de La Tour)

Tomorrow is Christmas Day!


As the mother of a family with young children this is a truly momentous occasion! You see, Christmas though such a time of celebration everywhere is particularly important in a house that is blessed with children...


Yes, there are the presents and the gifts that we exchange, which are delivered under our Christmas tree for our children to wake up to in the morning, but there is also the whole atmosphere of the entire day.


And our family’s anticipation on this day before Christmas is truly overwhelming…


From the moment we open our eyes in tomorrow morning until the moment when we tiredly go to bed tomorrow night, we will be fixated on the birth of Our Lord.


Yes, there will be gifts – but those gifts are in honour of Him. Yes, there will be food and feasting – but that food and feasting will be in honour of Him. Yes, there will be socialising – but that socialising will be in honour of Him. For it is ONLY BECAUSE OF HIM that we celebrate tomorrow…


And I have been reflecting on all of this as I finish up the last of my chores for the Christmas celebrations of tomorrow…


You see, I am not the only mother who was preparing for a celebration on Christmas Eve and who was anticipating tomorrow... There are others too. Mothers now and also mothers of the past.

In fact, two thousand years ago, Our Blessed Mother was preparing to celebrate the birth of her most Holy Son – God on High – who by some unimaginable act of Humility – was born of Her Blessed Flesh…

I wonder what the thoughts were in her mind on this day – before His birth – some two thousand years ago...


Did she worry because she had nowhere to deliver her Child? Was she happy that she would finally be able to hold her Beloved Son in her arms? Was she afraid – with the Holy Spirit’s gift of the fear of the Lord – of the power of God that would be made flesh through Her Holy Womb? Was she curious to know what her Child would look like?


I do not know the thoughts in her mind – because as always – she carried this in her heart and was silent, but I do know where she lay down to deliver her Child this night...


She was not inside a beautiful and clean hospital room that had been sterilised. She was not even inside her own home or car. There was no doctor or surgeon or even a midwife to attend to this birth of GOD... No. Instead, Our Blessed Mother gave birth to Our Lord God – King of the Universe – in a dirty, poor, tired, unworthy old stable…

Servant of God, Dorothy Day said, “I’m so glad that Jesus was born in a stable, because my soul is so much like a stable. It is poor and in unsatisfactory condition because of guilt, falsehoods, inadequacies, and sin. Yet I believe, that if Jesus can be born in a stable maybe He can also be born in me.”

And I have been reflecting on this too...


For Our Blessed Mother said, ““Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38).


And handmaids are servants. And servants do not ask questions of their master. Handmaids simply obey!


And so, as she anticipated tomorrow – with an excitement and wonder that I will never be able to understand, even with all of eternity to consider it – inside that lowly and humble stable, I wonder if she could see me now, right now where I am right now, right here and now…


For “my soul is so much like a stable” and yet my greatest desire is for Her Son “be born in me.”…


And I must prostrate myself before the Mother of my Lord – for it was through Her that God worked this wonder… It was through Her…


For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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