The month of December always encompasses the seasons of Advent and Christmas. It is a month of noteworthy days about mothers and children, all leading up to the birth of the One Child. It foreshadows joy and sorrow, new life and laying down of life, beginnings and preparation, and readying ourselves for the ultimate End: the 2nd coming of Christ Himself.
The month begins having just celebrated Christ the King. Walking through the days of preparation to mark His Birth, there is Nicholas, bishop and patron of children. The Immaculate Conception honors not only the purity of the soul of the Blessed Virgin, but also signals God’s preparation for the coming of the Sinless One. It also causes us to reflect upon her mother, St. Anne, who longed for a child, and her father, St. Joachim, whose name means Yahweh prepares.
Only days later, in the Americas, is the memorial of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Mother of our Lord appeared as a pregnant Indian-countenanced woman to request a shrine be built in her honor, and ended human sacrifice that ruled the day in the Aztec nation. Her image and devotion to her are understandably tied to the cause of all human life, most notably the unborn, today’s victims of human sacrifice.
In less than two weeks, the world falls silent in awe and wonder at the birth of Christ, the Infant King, Saviour, and Emmanuel – God with us. A baby. In the flat timeline of human history, His Birth is like a spike on an EKG: marking everything before it, and defining everything thereafter.
Three days after the celebration of His Birth, the church remembers the little ones, the Holy Innocents, martyred for the sake of the kingdom and foreshadowing His own innocent death. Protected by the obedience of His earthly foster father, the Child and His Mother are safely taken off to Egypt.
The month concludes with the vigil for Mary, Mother of God, anticipating a new calendar year, new beginnings. His mother. Our mother.