A meditation on the Feast Day of our Mother
“When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: “Woman, behold thy son.” (John 19:26) This is one of Jesus last ‘seven words’ on the cross. So, Jesus waits unto His last moments on the cross to commit His mother to St John’s care! If he had brothers, would they not take her to their home? Yet, John is a cousin, is that all Jesus tells us here, that his widowed mother needs cared? Some people won’t even admit this?
But the Church through the ages, has always took this moment as a moment when Jesus gave his mother not just to John, the priest of his new Church, the only faithful apostle still standing near the cross with his Faithful mother, but to all his faithful sheep of His Church. Mary represents the church. In the west, St Ambrose (Doctor), maintains that in Mary we have the mystery of the Church, and that from that moment each member can and should say, Mary is our mother. In the east, St Ephraem, the Syrian, (Doctor) sees Jesus giving us His mother, was what we see on the Old Testament of Moses appointing Joshua in his absence to guide his people. So too John is appointed to watch over Mary, as the Church. So from this moment forward all Christians, say here too is you r mother seeing Christ victorious cross, becoming an adopted son or daughter of the Church. To this point, the true Christian Church is in harmony.
This feast the church celebrates honors our mother, under her most beautiful title and in her most glorious birthright. The Counsel of Ephesus declared that it is correct to call Mary by the title of Theotokos, Greek for “God-bearer” affirming, Mary’s title, “Mother of God’. The Nestorians like modern day protestants want her to be just an ordinary woman. But the Church like her Son Honors Mary and God’s 4th commandment, in this supreme uniqueness in all womanhood a dignity, that raises her above all creatures. She is queen not only of our church and our hearts, but all humanity. But God has made her even Queen of the Angels. We share this dominant theme throughout our Divine (Mass, Liturgy, Service), we can repeat, “”Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel.” [Isaias (Isaiah) 7:14]Yes the prophet foretold the people of Isreal, “Emmanuel – God will dwell with us.” Woe to you who read and cannot see the truths of Sirach:
“As the vine I have brought forth a pleasant odor: and my flowers are the fruit of honor and riches. I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope. In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue. Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits. For my spirit is sweet above honey, and my inheritance above honey and the honeycomb. My memory is unto everlasting generations. They that eat me, shall yet hunger: and they that drink me, shall yet thirst. He that hearken to me, shall not be confounded: and they that work by me, shall not sin. They that explain me shall have life everlasting. All these things are the book of life, and the covenant of the most High, and the knowledge of truth.”(Sir24:23-32)
We sing the praise of Our Lady’ divine maternity: Mary is the fruitful vine which bore the fairest “blessed fruit, of thy womb, Jesus”. Mary the mother of fair love, in whom’s womb bore all grace, “the Way and the Truth, and the Life.” (Jn14:6) (see Sir24:25). Again in Sirach, Mary bids ‘all ye’ that desire me and be filled with my fruits’…..who is Jesus! (see Sir24:26) Then two verses later, who can not hear, Sirach and Elizabeth proclaim, “And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb … all generations shall call me blessed.” (Lk1:42,48; Sir24:28; Ps44:18) Were these scriptures only intended for Catholics?
He who wants or seeks Jesus, must meet him in His mother arms. Not only will she give him to us, but by her wonderful illustration, she teaches us how to love Him, to imitate Him, to follow Him, and be faithful to Him. She suffers with Him in the redemption of Mankind, throughout her life, but like all mothers, she extends her maternal love to us, being a mother to us, she is always there for us as she was for Jesus. So with all confidence and trust, our Holy Mother Church places on our lips, and hearts in today’s’ Feast of Mary’s Motherhood, “ O’ Lord …grant that we who believe her to be in deed the Mother of God may be aided by her intercession with Thee.” “Holy Mother of God, pray for us sinners” What mother is not moved by her child’s plea for help? Or how is it possible that the King could refuse his Mother the Queen, if even human kings know to honor their mothers requests, would not God be more generous?
References: Adapted from st Johns Gospel, Stephen K Ray on Jn19:28 Ignatius Press, pg 352. and Divine Intimacy, Fr. Gabriel of Mary Magdalen,TAN Books,2005, pg 1158-9
Indulgence: partial (300 days)(S.P. Ap., Feb25,1941) RACCOLTA pg215
“Holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God, intercede for me.”