What Would You have Done?


By Sister Catherine Cleary, OSB

On Sunday, January 1, we celebrate the “Solemnity of Mary.” The word solemnity may appear too regal, too hallowed for us to grasp what the Church is celebrating.

After all, what we know of Mary is that she gave birth in a dusty old manger before fleeing her country to avoid Herod’s search for her son.

She was a refugee. Hardly as dignified as the word “solemnity” implies.

Yet, Mary did give birth to a King who rules Heaven and Earth. His story – and hers – reminds us that we all have basic dignity, no matter what we look or sound like. No matter where we come from or where we’re trying to go.

Today’s refugees are playing out an old Gospel text.

When we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, we celebrate the Queen. We also celebrate the basic human dignity that she – and all people – possess.

This question is worth pondering today: If you had met Mary, Joseph and the Baby as they fled their homeland, not knowing who they were (as no one did), would you have helped them?

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