Periodically science teaches us something new about the human condition. With that new knowledge, we can re-evaluate what we know about the world and its history. Let's talk about a newer known condition that all humans have called microchimerism: Coming from “micro” that means small, and “chimera” greek mythological creatures that are the combination of different animals like a lion, goat, and a snake.
Microchimerism occurs when cells from a pregnant mother and her unborn child are shared back and forth through the placenta. Many of the shared cells get cleaned out by each person's immune system if they are harmful, but many are compatible, and just become cells with essentially different DNA living and becoming part of the mother and child. Sometimes the baby’s younger fetal cells can help the mother fight diseases and cancers during the pregnancy. After a child is born it has cells from the mother, and the mother has fetal cells from the child. It has been shown that almost 6% of the cells in a mother's blood are the child’s after a mother gives birth. A child’s cells identified by DNA has been found in mother's brain, heart, liver, and other major organs decades later.
This is not science fiction. This is observable fact and microchimerism applies to all of us. Right now some of your mother’s cells are somewhere in your body; many are forever locked in your brain and other organs. If you thought that you and your mother share a special connection, well it just got a little deeper. The sharing happens with previous sibling’s cells as well as grandmother’s and aunts’ and uncles’ cells, if they are still lingering in the mother's body. Don’t get too carried away though; your body is your body, and your mother's body is her body too. After all: none of us own the blood that we freely give after a blood donation, or an organ like a kidney when a person’s life is saved from a transplant, but we do end up sharing a special relationship or newfound communion with the other person. Also, it is only a few million cells when we each have trillions. Microchimerism is a small portion of a percent. But what if we are talking about Jesus Christ’s blood…
[Note: while all the above talks about science, the following references theology, but is not teachable. It is just private reflection.]
Apply microchimerism to the mystery of the Incarnation. Mary would have had 6% of her blood cells being that of her Son’s, and Jesus would have had Mary’s cells in His body. Imagine the glorious physical communion! It has been proposed that Mary would have to have the graces of Baptism before she could become pregnant with Jesus, since she would be in communion with Jesus, but this Microchimerism goes deeper. Mary would start to have Jesus’ living cells passing into her body that would stay alive within her, her entire life after the Incarnation at the Annunciation.
Jesus would always be with Mary physically, and Mary would always be with Jesus. Jesus would carry with Him his mother’s cells peppered all across His Body. In fact, some of Mary’s cells (by DNA) would die on the cross with Jesus. Science literally is telling us that some of the cells in Jesus’ pierced Heart were originally His Mother's. I bet Simeon never thought about that when he told Mary her heart too would be pierced. A little bit of the Blessed Mother would have hung on the cross and died with Jesus.
This knowledge of Microchimerism calls for an even greater need for Mary to be immaculately conceived without the stain of original sin, since she would be in this very special communion with her Son while she carried Him in her most blessed womb. While not a Eucharistic Communion, wouldn’t Mary have received the Physical Body of Christ at the Incarnation via microchimerism permanently? Maybe it is like how the Eucharist becomes part of us when we eat and our body absorbs the Sacrament physically. At the incarnation, did Mary physically became a living first class relic of Jesus Christ?
How does this new science draw us closer to Jesus and Mary? Maybe I just have more questions for the Divine Physician now, but it calls me to be closer to both Mary and Jesus’ Hearts. It reminds me that Mary was and always will be precious and special to her Son.