How fitting that a mother would have to share her feast day with one of the most unavoidable holidays of the year. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, we have entered a new year and it affects us all in one way or another. So by sharing this day, Mary has most often gone unnoticed, as mothers are prone to do.
“But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19
Mary was a ponderer. (I love that!) She bore the Son. She bore God. She bore MUCH! How much must I as a mother be called to bear? My own mother used to say, “There is nothing that can compare with the love a mother has for her child.” The range of emotions is huge and even if we aren’t mothers, we all had one! And, so I write to this ancient mother for my own peace of mind.
Dear Mary -
What was it like to be the mother of a perfect child? Were you without worry? I think not. Both you and he were human, after all. How did you hold up, Mary? How did you bear all that God gave you? Your “yes” was only the beginning. Your years had to be excruciating. Consider the weirdness following his birth – all those strangers showing up with extravagant gifts while you hung out in a dirty stable. The flight to Egypt as Herod threatened to kill your only son.
And those middle years – what happened then? Was Jesus ever rowdy as a boy? Was he arrogant as a teenager? Your mother’s worry had to be huge. Did you hover and overfeed him? Did you try to encourage him to eat his vegetables and study his Hebrew? Did you tell him to be careful when he went out at night? Even your mother’s love was not enough to save his life. You had to stand by and watch him be crucified to death. How did you handle that? How helpless you must have felt!
Mary, you have been with me this season. I am grateful for your presence. You offer me hope and I will carry you with me into this New Year.
Today’s Advent reading ends with … “this was the Mary whose soul was pierced by a sword.”
No matter who your kid is, being a mother is a really tough job – one that pierces in more ways anyone can imagine. Today I honor Mary and all the mothers of the world – Saints or not ☺. Won't you join me?
For another wonderful view of Mary, pop on over to the Mind Sieve.
photo © lucy - paris, 2008