His Mother

One day a priest told this story:

A rather aggressive reporter interviewed a mother of 10 children. He asked her, “Doesn’t every son deserve his mother’s love as if he were a privileged and chosen son?”

“Certainly” – the mother replied.

The reporter continued: “No parent can be completely impartial. Truthfully, which one of your ten children do you love the most?”

The mother replied, “The one who is sick until he has regained his health, the one who is sad until he can smile again, the one who is far away until he comes home.”

We are in the month of May and we are invited to draw closer to Mary so that she can bring us closer to Jesus. Mary is the Mother. Mary is first and foremost the Mother of Jesus. As a consequence of Christ’s saving mission, she is our Mother. She is the caring Mother par excellence for all children.

Since we are all in need of something, she is close to all of us as if we were the privileged and chosen ones:  all of us are those sick children who need physical, psychological or spiritual health. We all are sometimes sad because we are in a time of suffering and desolation and we all are sometimes far from home like the prodigal son. Mary is waiting for us and extends her arms to us; better yet, she takes us in her arms as she did the baby Jesus.

I don’t know if you have seen the movie about Jesus called “The Passion” by Mel Gibson. It came out several years ago. It is a difficult movie to watch, but the figure of Mary is rendered very well.

There are many memorable images from the film. I will mention just a few.

When, for example, in the middle of the night Jesus is arrested, John goes to Mary and Mary Magdalene to explain what had happened. Mary had already had a foreboding and it is as if she already knew.

Another poignant scene is when Mary is outside right above the prison where Jesus is. Although she does not know exactly where He is being held captive, Mary senses the presence of Jesus there below her, and she kneels down resting her ear on the floor as if to listen to her Son’s movements. Jesus, from the prison, also looks up because He perceives that Mother is above Him.

Another memorable image is when Jesus falls under the weight of the cross, Mary runs to Him. In the same way she used to run to Him when He was a child and fell, scraping His knee.

So many scenes of maternal tenderness.

Mary shows the same tenderness towards the disciples and thus also toward Peter.  After denying Jesus three times, Peter runs into Mary and John themselves in the crowd. Mary tries several times to give him a caress to console him in his great affliction of having betrayed the Lord.  Peter cannot bear Mary’s care because he feels unworthy.

This is Mary, a Mother attentive to all. At the wedding in Cana she comes to meet the embarrassment of the bride and groom who have no more wine. What does she say to the servants? “Do whatever He tells you.” To us, too, Mary suggests, “Do whatever He tells you.”

Mary brings us to Jesus because she wants us to be happy.

On His part, Jesus offers us Mary as our mother. He had already given everything: His dignity, His garments, His blood, etc. Now He gives the only reality intimately united to Him: His Mother.

“Woman, behold your Son… Son, behold your mother…”  ( Jn. 19:26-27).

On Good Friday of this year 2024, Pope Francis wrote the Station of the Cross for the evening at the Colosseum. The Fourth Station says:

Jesus, your disciples abandoned you, Judas betrayed you and Peter denied you. You are left alone with your cross. Yet your Mother is there for you. She needs no words, it is enough to look into her eyes that understand and share in your suffering. Jesus, in Mary’s eyes, bright with tears, you see mirrored the tender love, the warm caresses and the loving embrace that surrounded and sustained you from your earliest years. A mother’s eyes remind us too of all the goodness we have known… My journey too needs to be grounded in the memory of all the goodness I have known. Yet I realize how little room I make in my prayer for grateful remembrance. My prayer is all too hurried, a quick list of things I need for today and tomorrow. Mary, stop me from rushing. Help me to recall and cherish the graces I have received, to remember God’s forgiveness and his blessings, to revive my first love, to savor anew the wonders of his providence, and to shed tears of gratitude.

This month’s meditation is by Sr. Loredana, AVI.

Suggested concrete resolutions:

  1. During this Marian month we can turn to Mary more often. We can ask her:  “Mary, help me to renew my memory of how I have experienced love in my day.”
  2. I will try to organize a monthly rosary at my home and/or with friends.

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