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Are You Qualified To Hold Jesus In Your Arms?

I remember the first time my older sister asked me if I wanted to hold her newborn son. Terrified, I told her I didn’t think it was a good idea. My résumé had nothing to suggest I would be a qualified

baby holder. But she warmly told me, “I’ll help you hold him.” It struck me that she is the baby’s mother. She is the one who decides who is qualified to hold him. I took him in my arms and

soon I began to feel comfortable with that tiny little warm cooing creature in my arms, and soon I no longer feared holding him. Now, twenty-seven nieces and nephews later, holding a newborn child is one of the great joys of my life. Do we sometimes think that Jesus is given only to the highly

qualified, special religious people? In the Gospel of Luke today we hear about the presentation of the Lord in the temple. The newborn son of God is passed around like a baton in a relay race,

not guarded like a precious jewel or a breakable china dish. We can see him going from the arms of Mary to Joseph, then to the priest performing the ceremony, then to Simeon the old man, then to Anna the old widow. Each one receiving him and then handing him to the next. A tidal wave of joy and thanksgiving follows wherever he is placed. Believe me, you are qualified to hold Jesus in your arms. How can I say that with such confidence? Because the mother decides who is qualified. The Blessed Virgin, embodied in the Church, holds him out to you and me. She rejoices to place him in our arms to hold, and to hand him on, too. — Father John Muir ©LPi


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