He is here.
The Lord of Heaven and Earth is here.
Miriam sees Him, whom she’s loved from the beginning, whom she’s faithfully worshiped and adored from her infancy. She sees Him, whom she learned to praise with the psalms of David from the time she began to speak.
Adam and Eve hid themselves from Him, and He became invisible to all of their fallen children. Noah saw His bow in the sky, the sign of a covenant, but Noah did not see Him. Abraham heard His voice and followed Him into the desert; Abraham ate with His threefold angelic representative in disguise, but Abraham did not see Him, not as Mary does. Israel saw angels ascending and descending on a ladder, but Israel did not see the One to whom they ascended. Moses the great prophet spoke to the Lord as one man speaks to another, but even he only beheld the Lord’s back. David the king sat in the Presence of the Lord to praise Him, but saw nothing. Elijah heard the still, small Voice and covered his face because the One who spoke was too holy to look upon.
Miriam sees Him.
Miriam sees the Lord of Heaven and Earth, naked, covered in amniotic fluid, splashed with her own blood. The One who created by His word cries, and she comforts Him. The One enthroned above the Mercy Seat rests against her heart. The Fountain of Life nuzzles for her breast, and she feeds Him.
Miriam sees the Lord.
He is the Savior whose coming was prophesied for a thousand years. He is the offspring of Eve whom the serpent will strike at but not bite. He is the One who will bear our infirmities. He is all loves, all hopes, all joys, the answer to every longing. All sweetness is contained in Him. All happiness is an echo of His presence. All beauty is a reflection of His countenance.
Miriam beholds the Lamb of God– her Lamb, her son, Flesh of her flesh, splashed with her blood, nursing at her breast.
On that evening of tragedy where everything went wrong: on the night when no one had room to house the Ark of the Covenant, where Mankind once again hid themselves safe inside, away from God– on that night, Miriam sees the Lord.
No mortal tongue can tell her trepidation on that journey to Bethlehem; her sorrow at being rejected by all. No words could express the pain that will come later– the sword of sorrow that pierced her Immaculate Heart again and again, throughout her Son’s life.
But at this moment, she is happy. She is happy beyond words, beyond expression. Every joy is hers, because she beholds the wellspring of perfect joy. She sees the Object of all faith; the Fulfillment of all hope; the Pulse that beats behind all love. She sees the Fulfillment of every covenant, the Source and true End of every good work. She feels Heaven, Paradise, the only-begotten Word of the Father, snuggling against her breast for comfort; she feels His sacred Heart beat against her own. She sees the One who cannot deceive nor be deceived open His eyes for the first time on this earth.
Her face is what He sees.
Miriam sees the Lord of Hosts.
Miriam beholds her Son.
He, in turn, beholds His mother.
(image via Pixabay)
(Steel Magnificat will be meditating on the Joys of Mary according to the Franciscan Crown and the Seven Sorrows of Mary throughout the Nativity Fast.)