A Reflection on the Second Reading for Sunday, January 1st, 2023: The Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!"So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.
St. Paul proclaims that Christ came into the world in “the fullness of time.” Jesus’ arrival was purposefully positioned, with everything in place for his salvific plan to unfold as God desired. Not only were the environment, culture, and circumstances ready to enable the Gospel to spread, but God also made Mary for that chosen moment in history and allowed her the freedom and opportunity to cooperate in His plan and become the Mother of God.
Last winter, my husband and I learned that we were expecting, and in early autumn of this year I gave birth to our first child. I am immensely grateful for our son’s safe delivery, his continued health, and the simple joy of his presence. Some friends and family have expressed that the timing of his arrival was especially meaningful because he became a source of laughter and hope amid suffering.
Even with these affirmations, there are moments where I am tempted to evaluate my life and judge the timing of my motherhood journey through a worldly lens. I absolutely love my little boy, and yet I have had intrusive thoughts when I compare my place in life with that of others. I am embarrassed to admit that I have wasted time worrying, feeling “behind,” and questioning, “Should I have had my first child sooner?” I have wished that I could shift major events in my young adult life (education, marriage, career, motherhood) so that they’d happened on an earlier timeline. These thoughts and feelings frustrate me. I wouldn’t want to evaluate other’s lives based on the criteria I use yet, in moments of weakness, I become self-critical and act as if I’ve been alone and unguided in discernment.
When my heart is insecure about my age, future fertility, or other facets of my being, I know I need to ask for forgiveness and for the Holy Spirit to remind me of God’s Truth. In His love and mercy He has never abandoned me, and whenever I turn back to Him I always find Him affirming my value based on who I am in Him. I trust and believe that God chose my son to be born in this moment, and for me to receive the gift and responsibility of being his mother. God’s timing may be mysterious, and His lens out of my sight, but I have faith that His love has called this child into the world now – with purpose and for His glory.
I repent for forgetting the good God has gifted me in my times of waiting and wanting, and I thank and praise Him for how he has stretched my heart over these years to prepare me to receive my beautiful son at this precise time. God, grant each of us a better understanding of Your “fullness of time” in our lives, and help us to surrender our hearts to You with childlike trust and confidence. Amen.