I always have mixed feelings about “holidays” such as Mother’s Day but I went to bed last night thinking of Mother Mary. I thought about how much she went through as a mother of which we can choose to identify.
First, she was pregnant without being married, then she was married and found out for being pregnant at a time when she would have been condemned for adultery. But she stuck with the plan and had faith in the blessings. That took great courage and love. As far as we know, she didn’t have a tribe of women to support her. Today we have that opportunity.
When she and Joseph took Jesus to visit the Temple, like any youngster is prone to do, he took off on his own accord. They searched frantically for days and finally found him in the Temple where he probably shrugged off their concern not realizing the enormity of the stress he had caused. Lots of us moms have been in that situation. Far too many have lost children and have not had the healing of finding them or have found them too late.
Then, of course, the ultimate loss of her son by way of condemnation for something of which he was falsely accused. She had to have been anguished and yet she kept going, even in the constant face of uncertainty. Hers is the pain this morning I cannot begin to imagine, except I can identify with sorrowfully observing people standing by and doing nothing when they can do something. For our own purpose, today we have far too many instances of falsely accusing people. Those people are somebody’s child.
I’m sure Mary reveled in Jesus’ playtime antics. She probably admonished him to be careful with his hammer and chisel. And as he roamed the land with his message, in spite of her faith, I’m sure she worried about him and feared for his safety.
Mother Mary is a universal symbol of love and caring. As I think on her this morning I consider the moms who have lost children. Moms who are judged by the outside world and by their children. Moms who wish for better parenting skills (remember we are all doing the best we can at any given moment). And women who are mothers in their heart.
Mother Mary is considered the mother of all children (angels) – we’re all children at heart. She must have had many times like all mothers do when she wished she had more support and had times of feeling particularly alone.
I wish I had grasped this sooner, but in my aging years, I’ve learned that I can always ask, as I still do ask of my own departed mother, “Mother Mary, I need some help. Thank you for supporting me as I face this challenge.” Allow that request to go out and then be at peace. You aren’t as alone as you feel.