Today, the last day of the year, we read in our liturgy from the 1st chapter of St. John’s Gospel. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” Read in our Mary Garden, we could see Mary in those words, holding up her Child, the “Silent Word” blessing all creation, symbolized by our garden. The responsorial psalm for today calls the heavens to sing and the earth to rejoice. Creation today needs the blessing of the Word.
St. Bridget of Sweden influenced 15th century artists with her vision of Mary placing the Child on the earth outside the stable. Mary, Joseph and the shepherds join the earth itself to receive his blessing.
Finally, here Maximus, the Confessor, speaking about the adaptability of the Word to all in creation.
“The Word of God, born once in the flesh (such is his kindness and his goodness), is always willing to be born spiritually in those who desire him. In them he is born as an infant as he fashions himself in them by means of their virtues. He reveals himself to the extent that he knows someone is capable of receiving him. He diminishes the revelation of his glory not out of selfishness but because he recognizes the capacity and resources of those who desire to see him. Yet, in the transcendence of mystery, he always remains invisible to all.
For this reason the apostle Paul, reflecting on the power of the mystery, said: Jesus Christ, yesterday and today: he remains the same for ever. For he understood the mystery as ever new, never growing old through our understanding of it.”
An adaptable, respectful love. That’s the way God loves us. That’s the way to love others.