Mary was born, raised by good parents, decided to say “yes” when she could have said “no,” and so we got Christmas.
We should be thankful. Christmas showed for the first time the True Light. Every Christmas tree, each candle light service, all the house lights are an outer sign of this inner reality. The True Light came when a woman gave her consent to God.
I am thankful.
Thankfulness is not worship. I venerate my grandparents for standing in the Depression, facing Hitler and Stalin, and choosing God.
Mary is venerable. How not? In God’s good grace, she made Christmas possible by her wisdom.
When seeing how great her Son was, one woman tried to reduce His mother to her lady parts. The great thing about being the mother of God was having a womb and breasts: no. Instead, Jesus pointed that His mother was great because she heard the Word of God and obeyed it.
This means Mary could have done differently. An angel came, in part, because a human can say “no” to an angel. God did not come Himself, because He is impossible to deny. God cared enough to shield His beauty, His goodness, His joy, so that Mary, if she chose, could choose badly.
People do that sometimes, after all.
Humanity mostly produces moral mediocrities like we are: wanting what is good, but choosing badly far too often. We are fallen and we cannot get up. Mary was raised by parents, tradition names them Joachim and Anna, who heard the Word of God and chose to obey.
This worked out well as it generally does. Train up a woman in the way she should go and she generally will go the way she should go, but not always. Why? The Way is a way of consent, liberty, and so training up a child in the way she should go is to train her to liberty. This means she learns to choose, but the ability to choose implies that she might (God help us!) choose badly.
Being a good parent means enabling the child to be good, but that grants the power to be bad. Goodness takes character, but the strength needed to be good gives the power to do badly. That is the danger of being a good parent . . . Doing what is best for the child that is so dangerous. After all, God Himself put a Tree in the Garden and let His children choose what was wrong. He gave liberty and would not take back the great gift.
Mary stood at a pivot point of history and said “yes,” but first she had to be born, have proper parents who would raise a strong, chaste, holy, girl, the kind that makes consent possible, who would finally choose goodness. She had such parents we are told by tradition. She chose and God came, born of a woman, and so we were saved.
Mary was born to give us Christmas. Thank you, Mother of God.