For 15 years, my husband and I have been part of a Christmas event that our small church offers as a gift to the community.  In the beginning, it was only 3 scenes: A shepherd, two innkeepers (us), and a nativity scene set in a stable filled with hay.  Characters have changed through the years to tell the story, but there is always a young Mary. This year, several very young teenage girls donned Mary’s plain clothes and told her story. It is likely that Mary was indeed a very young girl, so these girls were very real in their earnestness and transparent trust.  Mary has to be in the scenes we create, because she was chosen by God to be the mother of Jesus. I am glad she said Yes to God’s message.  I love her preparing, her purpose, her pondering. The Pieta iis an exquisite rendering of her anguish.  I don’t know of any pieces of art or music that speak of her later life, but I love Edward Farrelll’s litany to her in his book Gathering the Fragments.



Mary of rattling tea cups and homemade cookies

Mary of open door, open hearth, open heart

Queen of varicose veins and chapped hands

Strong, fragile woman

Vulnerable, unshakable woman

Believer in love, reality, people, God

Back stooped and ear bent in listening to life’s

stories and to the giver of life

Stubborn fidelity to life in the face of death

Unflinching spirit that stares light into the darkness

of the tomb

Heart that breaks and pours love over the thirsty earth

Missing her son when he is gone to another home

Looking up in the sudden expectancy of hearing

his voice

Smiling wryly to herself and waiting

Waiting, gestating the kingdom once more

Growing in expectancy of second birth this time her own

And their laughter rocks the universe

Sending happy shock waves to echo in our dreams

Tugging our reluctant mouths into smiles of hope

and anticipation

Amen it will be so. Amen