The resurrected Jesus speaks to you today, saying,
“When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a man has been born into the world.”
A mother’s sorrow is not just limited to labor pains, nor is ended when her child grows and goes through adolescence. A mother’s true sorrow begins when she examines her own life and realizes what a great impossibility it is that she is alive, at that very moment.
For when she was in her own mother’s womb, there were any number of things that could have gone wrong, from ectopic pregnancies to umbilical cord complications, not to mention the strong peer pressure to abort.
Through no fault of her own, the woman as a fetus, really had such an impossible task just being born. Then its time to deliver and I don’t think we have to go over the amount of danger involved in that. Let’s just say its so much, that the prayer of the Litany devotes solemn attention to the perils of women in childbirth.
Once she is out, then its vaccines, viruses, bacteria, and nutrition. Then its clothing, shoes, house and home, food and drink, and everything else associated with bare needs care of the body.
If you were to stand back and examine the sheer probability to be overcome in order for a child to survive, you may be taken aback. Thus, when she thinks about having her own kids, she asks, “Why would I subject someone else to all that danger?”
A child born is a child that will die, so what’s the point? Many give this argument today to not only not have their own children, but also to prevent others from having so many, or even one.
Repent! Last week we were lamenting over a Good Shepherd that dies and leaves us and today we are hearing the same thing about children. You think they are only good for taxing your wallets, patience, and emotions. You feel that bringing them into the world will only add to the sorrow and despair of an already doomed world.
On top of that, you are conceived in sin (Psa.51:5). There is no escape, so what’s the point in having children? In doing anything?
There is another impossible and that of a virgin birth. Where there was no life and no hope, the Lord of Life was conceived and born. Where there was only deep darkness, Christ, our Crucified Lord created His Church.
You must never forget that this Gospel is about Jesus and it is Jesus who gives us clarity here. Jesus, both God and man, is going to leave His Temple in order to enter this world from another “temple”, that of the virgin’s womb. Jesus is going to risk His life, going through all of that danger of fetus-hood and childhood, in order to be made man.
He is going to subject Himself to blood, disease, and evil. He is going to subject His parents to toil, tribulation and sorrow. He is going to strain the world’s economy and environment, by being another person to be supported. Through this suffering and pain, the salvation of the world is purchased.
Jesus does it this way. Jesus chooses this path to be the Way. There were others, but Jesus made it so that the death of the Lamb of God would serve as infinite goodness and righteousness to His poor miserable creation.
And if the death of God is of infinite importance to the Church, then the death of His children are of infinite importance to the Lord. Not that we seek out our own deaths, but that by the Crucified Christ, we are comforted and no longer fear what death can do.
The Christian brings new children into this world in hope. The world does not have this hope because it does not believe the words and promises of Jesus. This is the hope of perfect healing, eternal life, and the resurrection of the dead.
Hope is what the Christian has, because of one birth: the birth of Jesus. The woman in labor has hope, because her Lord has traversed fetal development and has come out kicking and screaming. Parents in anguish have hope, because their Lord has conquered sin and death.
All children, young and old, have hope because the resurrection is theirs in baptism. You have hope because Jesus gives His Church life in abundance and that means having children. Not just physically, but spiritually.
If you ever doubt that there is joy to be had in the birth of a child, simply look into this baptismal font and you will see and never-ending line of newborn children in the Faith, all having Christ’s righteousness and all having Christ’s life and forgiveness.
There is joy in the birth of the Christ Child. There is joy in the death and resurrection of Jesus. There is joy in the death and rebirth of sinners, in baptism. There is joy in having children, because there, not that you have fun going through all the bad stuff, but because your Lord has given these things to you as a gift, it is the right thing to do: having children.
For a little while, in the Church, we will have sorrow. We will have sorrow, because our hour has come to stand in the face of sin, death, and the devil and either we will give in or Christ is triumphant for us. On that day we will fear because either we will deny Christ before men or Jesus will confess us to the Father, for us.
Because Jesus has accomplished and secured our salvation for us; because He has given us the hope of the resurrection, our sorrow turns to joy, because the God-man has been born into the world and suffers and dies for you. And when He rises again from the dead, all the hope you need is found in that promise that His resurrection is for you.