“In their weakness they will be strong”, something I think Jesus would say of women of His time. It was a time of deep oppression of women and a time when Jesus started the movement toward recognizing and valuing women and their contributions to society and their role in His Church. I try and think what it must have been like for Mary, His mother, from a mother’s point of view. I have never had a great devotion to Mary, I am not sure why, even though two of my kids were born on Marian feast days – one on Our Lady of Guadalupe and another on Our Lady of Mount Carmel. I was in France a couple of summers ago and became quite enamored by Our Lady of Pontmain too, her smile and the smiling baby Jesus just captivated me, but I have not yet cultivated a deep devotion to her.
I was thinking tho, what must it have been like to be the mother of Jesus, not even the mother of God, I don’t think anyone could comprehend that, but just the mother of Jesus the man and what he did and went though. Did he confide in her? Did he cry in frustration when he was overwhelmed, did he seek solace in her embrace? I sat trying to imagine what it must have been like, watching people crowd around him, listening to what he was saying, trying to understand why he was her son. I am sure at first she doubted, maybe thought he was a bit crazy, maybe was embarrassed, my God what was he saying? And then at some point, she had to realize something was so different about this man, her son, and still he was her son. Time went on, the crowds swelled, the things she must have witnessed and then I am sure she worried. Was he getting too much attention? Was he safe anymore? Then to know he wasn’t safe and to watch him at the last supper – she had to have been there – and listen to his words. And to know her son would die. She must have wanted to throw herself in front of Him as any mother would, and beg, “Tear my flesh in His place”. I know that is what she wanted to do. “Take me instead, I know he says it is his mission, but I can’t bear to watch, take me. He could do so much more if He were alive, take me instead.” She couldn’t have fully understood his intention as her heart broke.
So He died and was resurrected and she saw Him and still she couldn’t fully understand the miracle that occurred was her son and even who her son was truly. And then maybe she did. Did she replay the events in His life every day she continued living? Did her heart break wanting to hold Him again and did she yearn to see Him? Did she feel His pain everyday she lived on? Her heart was united with His sacred heart and and her heart lay broken.
And now she is with Him and she cries out to us, “the waters of baptism are being wasted, please bring others to my Son”, and maybe she thinks, don’t let His life be in vain.