Hold My Baby

By Leslie W. Bertucci

Lately, many of us find ourselves reeling and rushing about as we try to rebound from the blows of 2020 and brace ourselves for whatever loops 2021 will throw us.

Meanwhile, the Blessed Mother looks at us, smiling serenely and, while holding her precious child out to us, makes this extraordinary request: “Hold my baby.”

Who, me? You want ME to take the Savior of the world into MY arms?! Why would you entrust me with such a valuable, fragile bundle? I’m likely to drop him or at the very least make him cry. I couldn’t possibly.

“Hold my baby.”

But Mary, can’t you see? My arms are already full! I’ve got all these responsibilities and burdens, and so many worries and anxieties. There’s no way I could make room for that fat, beautiful baby. Even though he is looking at me so sweetly.

“Hold my baby.”

Okay, I suppose just for a minute. Here, let me put down this to-do list, and this basket of laundry. There, that made some room. I still have this heavy load of guilt from all the projects I meant to do during quarantine and never got to. I guess I could let that go for a while.

But, then there’s all this anxiety over the vaccine and remembering to wear my mask all the time, and how many germs I’m spreading.

Okay. I’ll put that down for a bit. But my arms need to be totally empty to hold your precious son. Mary, would you hold the rest of this for me so I can take him from you? You will? Oh, thank you so much!

Here, I’ve got him. Wait, fold the blanket over him so he won’t get cold. That’s better. Oh my! He’s so warm in my arms. And so peaceful! The way he smiles at me, with not a care in the world, as if he trusts me completely. Let me put his cheek next to mine. Oh, his soft breath on my face! I’ve never felt anything so sweet!

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