Tuesday Dec. 20, 2022
If you have ever visited the churches of another country, particularly a predominantly Catholic country like Italy, Mexico, France, or Spain, yes, you see a lot of crucifixes, but you also see a lot of Marys. There are many statues of Mary at the altar, in an alcove, gracing a chapel. Mary, Mary, and more Mary. Sometimes you see more Mary than Jesus. This is easily noticed by someone with a Protestant background because we are not used to constantly seeing representations of Mary in church.
As we walked the Camino De Santiago in Spain recently, I peaked into a little chapel we passed along the way. At the door was a locked wrought iron gate. You could only look in from the gate. The space was lovely and in the front was a Mary complete with vases of fresh flowers. This Mary had a glowing golden halo. She was garbed in resplendent gold robes. She was holding Jesus in one arm, and in her other hand was, well, a tote bag. A reusable bag that one would take shopping at the grocery store. That is what was hooked over her dainty, beige colored hand. I loved this Mary! Exalted in all her finery and ready for the task at hand, for everyday life.
That is a wonderful image for the life of faith. Captivated by the glorious dreams of God and ready for every day life. Not above it all; too good for the ordinary. But ready to blend the transcendent and the everyday.
So, while we may think we are seeking some extraordinary revelation this season, like the sighting of Santa portrayed in the poem, “The Night Before Christmas,” this Mary reminds us to look for signs of the eternal Divine Love, God, in the everyday.
As we go about our daily lives, may the dreams of God infuse us so that we are dazzled by the transcendent in the most ordinary of moments. Amen.