As I was contemplating the Nativity this week, something about the shepherds and the wise men struck me. We are told in the Scriptures that the shepherds and the wise men came to visit and pay homage to the Baby Jesus (Lk 2:8ff; Matt 2:1ff). What never occurred to me before is that these men would not simply have barged into the stable or the house and demanded to see the Child. On the contrary, it is common courtesy amongst human beings to first ask the mother if you can see her baby (unless you want to be greeted with a thump to the side of the head by a flying handbag).
I have no doubt that it was any different with the Baby Jesus (minus the handbag of course given that Our Lady was never given to any ill temper). Before the shepherds or the wise men could see Jesus, they would have first asked Mary.
That then got me thinking a bit deeper. The shepherds are often interpreted to represent the poor of this world, and the wise men the rich. Or sometimes the shepherds may be interpreted to represent the Jewish nation and the wise men the Gentiles. Either way, it makes no difference because these two groups of people ultimately represent all of humanity who came to pay homage to the Baby in the Manger as a foretaste of the day when all humanity in reality bows before Him (Phil 2:10-11).
Our Lord Jesus is no longer the Babe lying in the manger...now He is seated at the right hand of the Father in glory. But I think that the principle still holds true...if anyone, rich or poor, slave or free, Jew or Gentile – it doesn’t matter who we are – if anyone wants to see Jesus for who He really is, we need simply ask Mary. After all, that is the great role of Our Lady – she leads us unfailingly to the Lord Jesus Christ. As the Catechism says:
“...through Mary, the Holy Spirit begins to bring men, the objects of God’s merciful love, into communion with Christ”. Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 724
Never has there been a Christian who has sought Christ through Mary that has ever been disappointed. If you seek Christ through Mary, she will show Him to you. St. Louis Mary De Montfort reminds us of this when he says:
“If, then, we establish solid devotion to our Blessed Lady, it is only to establish more perfectly devotion to Jesus Christ...If devotion to Our Lady removed us from Jesus Christ, we should have to reject it as an illusion of the devil...” True Devotion to Mary, no. 62
No one knows a child better than it’s mother...and so no one knows Jesus better than Mary. So, let us be encouraged – if we want to know Jesus better, let us ask Mary to show Him to us. And one of the greatest gifts that Our Lady has given us to achieve this end is the Rosary – because when we pray the Rosary, we are walking with Our Lady and meditating with her on the Life of her dear Son.
Hail Holy Queen...show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus...AMEN.