To see the Christ Child in the crosshairs of a weapon gives shape and form to the horror that is part of everyday life for so many people of color. This is a brilliant and terrifying gift to everyone of us.
The second evokes an equally mind-numbing reality concerning the agony of a refugee mother.
Too often Western religious art is schlocky sentimental piety marketed to manipulate the faithful and generate funds. But these two are true icons - visual prayers - that express part of the truth of this moment in time. May we be as moved as these two Madonnas to bring to birth peace in our flesh, in our minds, in our communities and in our congregations.
Hail Mary, full of grace.
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.