BIOLOGICAL REFLECTION – Month Five: Just four months away from birth, the tiny Jesus would by now be very developed, weighing about a pound and practicing an equal sleep-wake pattern similar to when He is born. His tiny Sacred Heart grows particularly strong this month, and His little legs are growing into proportion with the rest of his body, which is covered with a fine hair called “lanugo” and a white skin substance called “vernix caseosa” for protection from the amniotic fluid in which He lives. Mother Mary might feel little Jesus kick, jab, and flip, and she and Joseph and grandparents Joachim and Anne might even get to see her belly move! Interesting note: a child born at this age has a chance to survive, although life in the mother’s womb to full term is usually best. The intimacy between mother and child is quite significant and continues to shape and influence their life together.
THEOLOGICAL REFLECTION – Month Five: In the moment of the Incarnation, the Divine God took on the human nature of Jesus Christ. From the moment the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary, God became man and dwelt among us, hidden for nine months. Of this amazing truth the Catechism of the Catholic Church (par. 483) states, “The Incarnation is therefore the mystery of the wonderful union of the divine and human natures in the one person of the Word.” In the papal encyclical Haurietis Aquas (par. 5) Pope Pius XII notes, “Divine Love first takes its origin from the Holy Spirit, Who is the Love in Person of the Father and the Son in the bosom of the most Holy Trinity.”
Mary, the chosen Virgin full of grace, embraced with her heart the Divine Love of God. As the Holy Spirit overshadowed her, she embraced His Word with her holy womb, the first tabernacle of the Most Blessed Sacrament, where Jesus – the very author and creator of grace – lived and waited until that first Christmas Day. And from the 21st day after His conception, His tiny Sacred Heart beat in rhythm and song with Mary’s, as both waited to see what was unseen.
Today, science shines a light on the unseen life in the womb, much like unconditional love can shine a light on the “little one” often hidden in dementia disease. We must look with our eyes and see with our heart! As the Church approaches the Year of Faith, may we heed the words of Pope Benedict XVI in his Apostolic Letter, Motu Proprio Data (par. 3): “We cannot accept that salt should become tasteless or the light be kept hidden…We must rediscover a taste for feeding ourselves on the word of God, faithfully handed down by the Church, and on the bread of life, offered as sustenance for his disciples…” Could it be that today, the Light of Christ from inside the womb of Mary is calling us to renewal in the Love of His tiny Sacred Heart?
On devotion to the Sacred Heart, Pope Pius XVII states, “The Church has always valued, and still does, the devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus so highly that she provides for the spread of it among Christian peoples everywhere and by every means.” (Haurietas Aquas, par. 8) In that spirit of devotion, and Pope Benedict’s call to renewal, may every heart seek in Light and embrace in Love the Word incarnate, the very origin of our faith; the Sacred Heart of God, hidden in the womb and revealed to those who have eyes to see.
O’ Virgin Mary, Mother of the Life Within, pray for us!
O’ Lamb of God, in the Virgin’s Womb, have mercy on us!
May the Heart of God in the Virgin’s Womb
Be praised, adored, and loved
With grateful affection,
By every heart,
Always and everywhere,
For the glory of God the Father,
In the power of the Holy Spirit,
With Mother Mary. Amen!
2012 Ellen Marie Edmonds. For reprint permission, contact ellen@EmbracingDementia.com
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