Sunday, December 25, 2011

Same Lap, Same Child, 33 Years Later

This morning I was blessed to have Mass in a still-silent St. John's in downtown Indy around 6:30 am. Because I had no Mass scheduled, I went to my favorite place on Earth and had Mass by myself.

I celebrated Mass this morning at the side altar of the pieta (statue of Mary holding Her dead Son in her arms - first immortalized by Michelangelo's statue in St. Peter's Basilica).

As I celebrated Mass this morning, it hit me that just as we celebrate today the birth of a child resting peacefully in His Mother's arms, so the pieta memorializes that same Mother holding that same Child in those same arms. The two scenes will always now be intimately connected for me in a way that had not ever occurred to me before.

It was especially driven home to me when I elevated the Host and the chalice. At each elevation, because the statue is so big and so close to the altar, all I could see was the Host/chalice and the Blessed Mother in the near-background holding Her dead Son. It seemed as if I was showing to the Blessed Mother Her Son, and it was as if She was saying, "I believe, but look how the world treats Him!"

May we remember His coming as a child, and may we remember that, despite every effort on His part, some still choose to reject His message. May more people open their hearts to let Him make His dwelling with them - and may we live in such a way as to inspire that increase!


  1. Merry Christmas Father John! I hope you and your family had a nice Christmas. You conjured up some beautiful imagery with this post! Very enjoyable post as usual.

  2. Wonderful reflection.