Monday, December 8, 2008
The Baby Jesus Does Not Come Alone
I never thought I would receive a lesson in Catholic apologetics from my severe, non-religious German florist, but this morning it happened. My children and I had made our way through the freezing foggy morning to her shop in search of a beeswax baby Jesus. My plan was to hollow out the white Christ candle we have in the middle of our Advent wreath and place a baby Jesus inside a little cave at the base of the thick white candle. The candle would represent Mary's pure body, and we had to do the craft today because my four year old is all jazzed up about the feast of the Immaculate Conception.
We easily located a baby in a manger amidst a nativity scene like the one above. Nonetheless, the plans for our craft came to a screeching halt when those little Viv hands excitedly placed the little baby in a manger on the counter top for us to pay. The florist looked up at me and matter-of-factly explained, "de baby does not go alone." That is all she said. Viv was crushed, but I had an epiphany moment.
On this, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, the florist had reminded me what a blessing it is to be a part of the Roman Catholic family. As Protestant Christians around the world are accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, we Catholics are (additionally) blessed with remembrance of the centrality of his Holy Mother, his dutiful earthly father and the whole communion of Saints. It is so sad when a feisty Protestant asks me "why do you worship Mary?" Of course that is not the case, and we simply offer our dearest intentions to her for her powerful prayers to her Son. I believe that the Reformation reinvigorated all shades of Christianity, but how sad that some of the broken away Christian faiths felt the need to discard a bunch of Jesus' family. If only they could hear our florist explain, in no uncertain terms, that "de baby does not come alone."