Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son. Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.”
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
I have an overactive imagination. Add in a healthy dose of anxiety and, well, you have a recipe for maternal disaster. Perhaps it’s the current climate we live in, but I can’t go anywhere without first locating the emergency exits. I can’t talk about next summer or next Christmas without a voice whispering, “but what if there isn’t?”. If I let it, my mind wanders down rabbit holes of apocalyptic greatness a la some blockbuster action film (that first scene from the original Mad Max, anyone?).
I worry about what will happen to my children. I worry about what will happen to me.
Mary as Our Mother
Remember the introduction to this series? In it, I mentioned that my mother found her way to Catholicism through Mary’s motherhood in the Church. As Pope Francis has said on numerous occasions, Mary is our mother and we are not orphans. This brings me much peace, even though I know if something were to happen to me and my husband, Mary wouldn’t swoop the children into her arms or descend from heaven to care for them.
Or wouldn’t she? Perhaps not in physical form, but I have no doubt she loves my children as deeply as I do. In our shared vocation as mother, Mary seeks to guide and care for all her children. I often contemplate the scene from John 19 in which Mary stands at the foot of the cross while her son suffers an excruciating death. In his last moments on Earth, Jesus turns to his mother and commends her to the care of his beloved disciple. More importantly, he places his beloved disciple, John, under the mantel of his Holy Mother.
In this way, Mary adopts us all. We are never orphans, no matter the circumstances of our family constellation. We need only ask her guidance and intercession as we would from an earthly mother. She will take us by the hand and lead us to her son.
- Hang a picture of Mary close to your own family photos
- Imagine what Jesus must have been like as a toddler, and talk about how Mary would have mothered him
- Write about the ways in which Mary has led you to Jesus
- Read Tomie DePaola’s Mary, the Mother of Jesus
Oh Blessed Virgin, you adopt us all as your children. Watch over as a good mother should, and lead us ever closer to your son.
This post is part of the Write31 Days challenge. To read the other posts in the series, click here.