A marian moment: fulfillment

Way back when, I said one of the best parts of having a newborn is the smell, and mentioned how Mary must have inhaled that perfect scent of Jesus as a newborn.

The second best part of newborn cuddles is  how they utterly sack out when they’ve got a full tummy. A really good breastfeed leaves the baby absolutely limp and satisfied in your arms, cuddled up near the warmth of you, his jaw moving every so often as he suckles in his sleep.

I think about that too sometimes, how as an infant, Jesus would have felt neediness and incompletion for the first time in eternity. As the Word and the Second Person of the Trinity, he would have experienced omnipotency and (according to John) everything was created through him. 

And yet as a newborn, he would suddenly have experienced cold, hunger, sleepiness, and other discomforts. It must have been scary and disconcerting, and then even his own cries would have scared him.

Mary would have taken him in her arms as a mother does, and fed him. 

Think about that, for a moment: filling the one who fulfills us all. Satisfying the needs of the only one who can satisfy all our needs.

Think about this too: Jesus was the only one of us who chose his own mother. He selected/designed her to be the one to satisfy him when he arrived here hungry and scared and cold and out of contact with eternity.

Now to the other end of his life, to his crucifixion with his mother again standing right there, this time unable to meet his need, his death necessary for her own salvation and yet, as a mother, I’m betting she would have said “No, don’t do it for me.” Because that’s what mothers do. She met his needs as an infant, and here she can’t. She would, though. It’s like her soul is nailed up there too because she can’t do a thing to stop it. 

Even understanding it’s necessary, a mother would have said, “No! This isn’t fair! I don’t care what happens to me, but I don’t want this to happen to you!”

On the one end, a mother fulfilling her helpless infant’s every need. And on the other, her son fulfilling her need for redemption while she watches, helpless.


  1. whiskers

    OOh. That gave me chills.

    Do you think that part of her would also have rejoiced in his strength and pain, because she realized the necessity of it all? I like to think that as a mother she could understand the ultimate self-sacrifice and be very proud and admire her Son very much.


  2. philangelus

    There’s head-knowing and there’s heart-knowing.

    Heartwise, I’m not sure in the moment she could have felt proud because the primary emotions would have been horror, anguish, grief, disbelief that this could be happening right in front of her, and helplessness.

    Afterward, probably yes.