Have you seen a framed picture depicting Mary Kissing baby Jesus at your homes, convents or parishes? The picture is known as “Kissing the Face of God” by Morgan Weistling, nationally recognized as one of America’s top contemporary painters today and a successful illustrator in the Hollywood movie industry for fourteen years. The phrase “kissing the face of God” immediately can struck anyone with this powerful image of Mary and the Baby Jesus. It is an image that we have seen depicted many times, but never simply as a mother and her child with real tenderness. We start to contemplate the awesome privilege that Mary was given, being able to hold God in her arms, but also keeping in mind that He was still her baby. This cute little child whom she bore was also God in the flesh. And yet, she cuddled and kissed Him, just as all mothers do with their babies. This thought could propel everyone right into this painting that all want to be a very human representation of divinity. Our prayer is that the viewer will be struck with the amazing way that God chose to send His Son into this world — in pure humility.
We are all aware as lovers of Mother Mary that the gift of Mary to the Church was Jesus’ last human act from the Cross. He placed His mother’s care in the hands of the only apostle present at the cross, the Apostle John, “Seeing His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing near her, Jesus said to His mother, ‘Woman, this is your son.’ Then to the disciple He said, ‘This is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.” [John 19:26-27]. This is Mary’s role in Salvation History: ever virgin and yet fruitful mother. It is Mary, a daughter of the Old Covenant, who is not only the bearer of Christ in the Annunciation but Mary also “labors” in prayer in the Upper Room with the other disciples for the birth of the Church at Pentecost for the New Covenant believers will become her spiritual children. She stands as the Christian model, which we should all emulate. From her obedience at the Annunciation to the events of Christ’s passion she illustrates for us a model of Christian virtue, faith and obedience as she remained true to Christ and His word. Her fidelity shows us that true faith can be preserved in one individual and down through history the Church has honoured her for this by considering her the mother of the true remnant of Israel in the New Covenant Church. It has been as Mary prophesized, filled with the Holy Spirit, ‘Yes, from now onward all generations will call me blessed!’. Mary, did you know that you will be greeted by an Angel to announce the good news? Having listened to a song by angels
Mary, did you know that you will say yes to be part of salvation history?
Mary, did you know that you have to visit your cousin Elizabeth who was also pregnant?
Mary, did you know that you will not get proper place in Bethlehem to deliver the son of God?
Mary, did you know that you could imagine missing him in the temple?
Mary, did you know that you could Take care of Him until the age of thirty-three?
Mary, did you know that your son Jesus would leave home and be a wandering preacher?
Mary did you know that your son could draw the big crowds?
Mary did you know that His own home town would reject Him?
Mary, did you know that He would select very ordinary to be His disciples?
Mary, did you know that your son would perform the first miracle in Cana at your intervention?
Mary, did you know that He would suffer a lot, be crucified and be resurrected on the third day?
Mary did you know that the child you delivered, will soon deliver you?
Mary did you know that when you kissed your little baby, you kissed the face of God or when you held Him in your lap before burial, did you know that you held the son of God and of course your baby.
My question for reflection is that how much you know about Mary, Mother of God who is also our beloved Mother. Did we anytime kiss the face of God in person, through circumstances or events like that of Mary? If yes, how? If no, why?
-Sr. Justina Vaz