Mary our Mother
What does it mean to be a mother? Google gives us the definition of "a woman in relation to her child or children" as a noun and "to bring up (a child) with care and affection" as a verb. A mother is one who not only gives birth to their child, but cares for them and nurtures them all their life. In the Catholic Church, we have a very strong understanding of what a mother is supposed to be from looking at Mary, the mother of Jesus. However, she not only represents what a mother should be, but also how we are to act as followers in faith. Jesus tells his followers that he is 'the way, the truth, and the life' and through believing in him, Mary accepted God's will for her without doubt, without questioning the challenging path laid before her, even as her Son was dying on the cross. No matter the struggles presented, Mary supports her son, believes in him, and accepts God's plan for her as a person, as a wife, and most importantly as a mother.
Today's Gospel states: "Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way where I am going." Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him." Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, `Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves. "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father' (John 14:1-12).
Jesus' followers ask him repeatedly to 'show them the father'. They seek understanding and truth. Jesus tells them that the truth can only be discovered through faith, through hope in him and God's plans for the world. Have you ever heard the phrase: "mothers know everything"? In the case of Mary, she knew her son was destined for greatness, for good, though not how he would serve his purpose. She did not know everything God had planned for him, but she didn't question or seek understanding. She let God be in control and went to him with open hands, an open heart. In Ken's talk during the parish mission, he talked about how Mary not only opened her hands up to God, but embraced his mission for her, through conceiving Jesus, to raising him and supporting him in his ministry, death and resurrection. We are to be like Mary and accept God's will, as mothers, fathers, children, people of faith. Just as we go up for communion and accept the Eucharist, we must prepare ourselves each day through prayer and devotion, opening ourselves up to God's will.
Today's prayer comes from 'CatholicOnline' a prayer for Mary as our model:
All praise and glory are Yours, almighty Father:
You have given us Your Son Jesus to save us from sin.
We praise You for choosing Mary to be His mother,
for teaching her to believe Your message,
for helping her to accept Your holy will.
Strengthen us by Your Spirit to be like Mary:
to ponder Your word in our hearts,
to obey Your will,
to love Your Son,
to sing Your praises every day.
we praise You through Jesus Christ Your Son
in the love of Your Spirit,
for ever and ever.