This past holy season brought many blessings. One of these was on the occasion of Christmas Eve, with the Festival of Light and the living creche representation in Ananda Village.
When Devaki, the director of the creche scene, asked me to be the Virgin Mother, I started to think about Mary. Who was she? I mean… it is not every day that an angel appears telling someone that they will give birth to the “most High”! Definitively, her consciousness should be special, and her love, compassion, sense of duty, faith, surrender and devotion must be extraordinary. (Wow! Great things to try to tune in to!)
And then, many thoughts came to my mind…
We know — or we have an idea — who the Savior was, but I wondered, what kind of beliefs had that young woman who gave birth to the Lord? How great would be her confidence to accept that miracle in the middle of that extra-difficult-dark-age-Kali-Yuga-time!
It should be an amazing feeling the miracle of life inside you (mothers know) but I ask myself, how it would be having the Christ child inside your womb? When Elisabeth found her cousin Mary, she could felt the joy of John recognizing Jesus, both in their mother’s wombs. Did Mary feel His grace, His consciousness, His blessings while she was pregnant?
And on the other hand… when the light comes, the darkness can become stronger as well (we experience it in our own lives!). I wonder how it was for her since she will give to birth that who will bring the Light to the humankind!
And the day came. After traveling several days in the cold of the winter, Mary and her good and devoted husband Joseph (and partner in this holy mission), found that shed to spend the night… and to give birth to the baby.
What happened then? There are many stories and legends about shepherds and other people coming to visit the Christ child, especially the visit of those three wise men who came from afar to welcome this new-born baby. How did Mary and Joseph receive that attention? It is not something normal to receive this kind of visit in that situation. (Well, the story of Jesus’ birth wasn’t a usual one to begin with!)
Tim Kretzmann told a beautiful story at Ananda Village some days before Christmas. In that story an old, lonely, angry, suspicious shepherd met baby Jesus. After many years living alone and angry with the world, the gaze of this man found those little and sweet eyes in that holy baby. He couldn’t move away his gaze from Him. That little child was talking directly to his heart, melting it. The shepherd was bewildered; he had never felt anything like that… he found in that little baby something familiar. He found in that little child… his best Friend.
That story especially touched me. I never thought about finding in that little child’s eyes our best friend, but certainly it could be! Many of us find that kind of experience with Swami Kriyananda and with Paramhansa Yogananda.
So there I was, thinking about all these things while holding that doll meant to be little Jesus. I was gazing at him and trying to feel that he was my son (as Mother Mary) — but not really mine, he was His son… and being his mother or not, something was true: He, that little baby, was my really best Friend.
Mary, a saint who had a simple — and I think not an easy — life, living like a housewife and raising Jesus: the son of the Most High… she must have been a great soul!