Not So Obvious

The miracle of Christmas Day celebrates so many things that are familiar and comforting to us: Jesus among us, God’s generosity, peace on Earth, joy, comforting tunes, familiar traditions.   Like all of the lessons of scripture, though, the occurrence of Christmas holds within it so many more things that are not visible and much deeper in meaning than what meets the eye.

Christmas has repercussions.  This day when families come together, carols are sung and gifts are exchanged is just the beginning.  If you have spent any time at all reading the Bible you eventually come to the place where you understand how the Old and New Testaments are really hand in glove.

The Old Testament prepares the future and the New Testament fulfills the promise.   Together they are the full story of God and His people (us).  They can’t be separated.  John Paul II taught that the Bible must be regarded as a unity.

One of the most stunning readings in the book of Revelation is in chapter 3:  “Behold, I have left an open door before you, which no one can close.” (Rev 3:8)  Upon initial reading, this seems unrelated to the feast of Christmas.  Take a closer look.

Christmas marks the obvious beginning of the salvation story. We have a champion in that story, though, whose extraordinary love for God made a clear pathway for every human on earth, Mary.  In December we also celebrate her Immaculate Conception and in that miracle is our rescue.

In Mary’s life, remaining immaculately conceived was pure choice. The open door that the scripture speaks of happens because of Mary.  After Jesus’ death one of the things he does is welcome his Mother straight into heaven.  No pause, no penance, no hesitation.  He opens the door and she walks right in to be further honored as his queen and the mediatrix of all graces.  Remember that the scripture tells us the door can never be closed.   It is open forever to any other human who wants to pass through and follow our Mother. “Mary is clearly the prototype of the birth of our divine life,” said Father Marie-Dominique Philppe, O.P., priest and professor of philosophy and theology.

So when you are celebrating “that day” you would do well to recall that in eternal ways, this is also your birthday.  In Mary’s yes we have been given not only the unobstructed path to heaven, but the reality of it for the human race.  Celebrate with intense joy.  Mary has blazed a trail for you that is priceless, eternal and beyond words that anyone could speak or sing!

Copyright © 2012, Kathryn M. Cunningham

Kathryn M. Cunningham

Kathryn M. Cunningham

Kathryn holds a Master’s in Education from Saint Xavier University. Most recently she completed Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies from The Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. This recent degree was part of a “retirement project” after teaching for 35 years. She has also worked as a spiritual director, music minister,council member and prayer team warrior. Kathryn has a deep interest in catechesis for the people in the pews. As a “sort of” convert she finds the wisdom of the Church a source for encouragement, joy and survival in a world not sure of anything. Her writing has appeared in diocesan publications and on-line sites, most recently for Zenit. To learn more about Kathryn check out her thinking at:">

Leave a Reply

next post: Evangelizing in the Face of Dissent

previous post: The Deeper Meaning of Christmas