I was praying the Joyful mysteries of the Rosary today. Its amazing how much of a struggle it is to commit to just 15 minutes of prayer sometimes.
At the end of the 3rd mystery, Mary & Joseph have just presented Jesus at the temple. Simeon made his speech & the old prophetess Anna comes waddling in. The scriptures say she went & told those who were awaiting the redemption of Israel all about Jesus. Redemption to her was summed up in this little mound of flesh that pooped & peed & drooled. Yet she saw the same thing in Jesus that Simeon did. She saw a redeemer... THE Redeemer.
Redemption, I think, did not come by the cross alone some 3 decades later. Redemption was not a one time, flash in the pan event. It was conceived in the womb of Mary's obedience to God. Redemption grew within her, a slave to the process of becoming. He conceded to be a formless embryo, a tiny alien fetus, always human, always Divine. His tiny organs, fingernails & facial appearance developed as he drew His sustenance from the safety of Mary's belly. Though the Light of the World was conceived in darkness & born in darkness, the darkness did not overcome Him.
Jesus, now alive in heaven, is ageless. But here on earth, the Redeemer grew in wisdom & favor with men. They had no clue who He was. According to scripture, it seems they always assumed He was just the carpenter's son, some kid from Nazareth who would never amount to much. It seems no one really expected great things from Him, even though He was smart & well received in the community. It was small town politics in Nazareth... you know the kind. Nothing good could come from there, so why would Jesus be any different? And yet, Jesus' redeeming power has been given to each one of us who believe. Conceived within the womb of our obedience, it grows, drawing substance & strength from us, who receive substance & strength from God. When we give birth, what will others see? Just a small town baby? Or the Redeemer of the world?