I love the Christmas song, Mary, Did You Know, and it is the perfect meditation as we reflect on the meaning of Christmas. Mary knew she would suffer. Simeon told her a sword would pierce her heart and her suffering began from the the first step she took on the road to Bethlehem "great with child." Mary, our Advent companion in the joy of Christmas, will be our model of suffering in the season of Lent. But for now we rejoice at the coming of our Savior whose ultimate suffering will be prefigured in the massacre of the innocents.
Mary, intercede for us, that we will not be fair weather friends who gladly worship in the shadow of the angels' Halleluia, but run from the cross. Help us to take courage from your example. Take our hands, Mary, and protect with your mother's heart and courage, leading us straight to your Son. "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee."