Mary of Nazareth and the Bethlehem Candle

Blessed Virgin Mary from Saint Peter Catholic Church (Millersburg, Ohio). Image from Wikipedia.

The second candle of Advent is called the Bethlehem candle and represents faith.  Its message is summed up in Mary of Nazareth. She has been the inspiration of saints, poets, artists and authors for over a thousand years.

I have also found her a great example of faith, hope and charity.  The words most often associated with Mary are her humble acceptance of the angel’s announcement that she would conceive and give birth to Jesus.  However I love her magnificent Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55) and her sweet testimony to the servants at the Cana wedding: “Whatsoever [Jesus] saith unto you, do it” (John 2:5).

Here is a poem from my devotional Daystar Rising: The Testimony of Mary of Nazareth.

The Star
Above me in the night sky
stars blink sleepily in the darkness,
lighting our way
with their cold glory.

One star seems to move
across the sky, as if guiding us,
yet the servant taking us to shelter,
doesn’t look up, doesn’t notice at all.
And why would he?
Nothing in the night sky
but what he had seen other nights.
He plods resolutely on.

And I, chilled by the spring air,
take my eyes off the star,
and look into the darkness
to see what shelter
the man has found,
for me to give birth
to God’s Grace.

I’m grateful for grace and Mary’s example this Christmas season.