BIOLOGICAL REFLECTION – Month Six: Little Jesus would now weigh about 2 lbs. and measure nearly 10 inches long, from crown to rump. He could easily fit into the big hand of his earthly father Joseph! The sixth month in the womb is a time of active brain and lung growth. Brain wave activity is present for visual and auditory systems. The lungs begin secreting “surfactant” to cover the inner lining of the air sacs and facilitate lung expansion for breathing. His little nostrils are opening up, and he breathes amniotic fluid in and out of his mouth. His eyelashes are present, and his eyelids open and close in an instinctive “startle reflex.” Although light seems to subtly penetrate the closed eyelids, much more light is required after birth to develop his eye color. The melody of his mother Mary’s speech continues to soothe and guide him in his own audio development. Their unique physical, emotional, and spiritual relationship continues to grow and prepare them for life after his birth.
THEOLOGICAL REFLECTION – Month Six: Since beginning this “Way of Joy” with the Angelus Novena leading to The Annunciation last March, we have celebrated several liturgical solemnities and feasts as they parallel the biological milestones observed in the human development of Christ and his hidden life in the womb. Indeed, the conception of Jesus, The Incarnation celebrated on March 25, commemorates the cornerstone of the Church, the very origin of the Christian faith. With contemporary technology, we see his first tiny heartbeat – The Cardiophany of Our Lord – on April 15, just 21 days after conception day. In the third month, June 24, we celebrate the Nativity of St. John the Baptist; and we know from Sacred Scripture that Mary was there, with 12-week old Jesus living in her womb. Now in the sixth month, September 8 celebrates the Nativity of Mary, probably her 15th or 16th birthday. Mary’s growing tummy looks a bit like a soccer ball now, and she has a very intimate relationship with little Emmanuel, God among us, living within her. As the Church celebrates “The Holy Name of Mary” on September 12, one must ponder the thoughts of Mary’s parents, saints Anne and Joachim. This child of theirs whose name is Mary, conceived without sin in Anne’s old age, now carries within her womb the only Son of God. The Word, Caritas In Veritate – Love and Truth – has become flesh and dwells among us! Awe and wonder must abound with the awesome presence of grace and angels! That grace, His Love personified, which filled Mary from the moment of her Immaculate Conception, is the essence of power and joy which enabled her to say “Let it be” at His beginning and “Do whatever He says” at His end. It is that same grace, which fills the wounds of her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, where her motherly love is the endless font of Hope, Mercy, and Peace for every soul.
Mary, Mother of the Life Within, pray for us!
Heart of Mercy in the Virgin’s Womb, we trust in you!
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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