Hail Mary, The Lord Is With You

May is the month of flowers, green grass, and new life as the earth awakens from the sleep of winter. May is also the month in which we honor Mary, the Mother of God. And since we also celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, it seems fitting to reflect on our Blessed Mother and her unique role as Queen of Heaven.

We can imagine what Mary must have felt, as the angel appeared to her to announce that she would be the Mother of God. Our earthly mothers also have fond memories of the moment they learned they would be expecting a child in nine months. In the “olden days,” before modern technology, parents had to wait that full nine months to learn whether it would be a boy or girl. In our modern day, parents have the option of waiting, or of finding out in the early months of the pregnancy, whether to buy pink or blue clothes.

Mary goes to share her joy with her cousin, Elizabeth. This unique meeting of “the voice” and “the Word” must have indeed brought incredible joy and wonder to these soon-to-be mothers! Imagine Elizabeth’s joy as her child leaped in her womb, and then she declared Mary blessed among women. As earthly parents, we can relate to the joy when the child in the womb begins to move or kick. As parents we need to know that the baby is doing well, and this is a sure sign for us of the vitality of this new life.

We watch our children grow as time seems to march past faster than we can keep up. And so it was with Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. We remember that famous passage from scripture about the wedding at Cana, where Jesus performs his first public miracle. We feel the tension as Mary learns that the wine has run short. Her motherly instincts kick in, and in no time, Jesus is summoned to turn the water into choice wine. Her motherly words to the stewards offer us the best path to holiness, “Do whatever He tells you.” Mary accompanies Jesus throughout his ministry and right to the cross to be with her Son until his last breath.

What a beautiful model of motherhood we find in our Mother, Mary. She is quiet and obedient, peaceful and loving. Her motherly care for Jesus is so evident. Despite the fact that scripture contains nothing of Jesus’ early life, and very little after the finding in the temple, we can imagine that Mary was a wonderful mother to Jesus and a wonderful wife to Joseph.

In our modern day, mothers are called to do many things. Unlike earlier times, when most women stayed at home to care for their children, motherhood in 2020 looks very different. We live in a world of technology in which life moves at a fast pace. And while motherhood looks much different from the days of Jesus, the role of a mother in bonding with her child and providing for the child’s needs has not changed. The role of the mother is so important to the healthy development of a child. We know, from experience, that the absence of motherly love and attention in early life will have a profound effect on us as we grow and mature. Thank God for mothers!

Our Blessed Mother is always close to us, and she always leads us to Jesus! We should never feel concerned about anything in this life. Mary intercedes for us with the powerful loving prayers of a mother who looks upon each of us with the gaze of love that met Jesus throughout his life. We can always go to Mary with our needs. She will carry our prayers to the feet of Jesus, who can never refuse his Mother!

As we navigate these challenging days in the midst of the pandemic, social isolation, and a temporary suspension of our public gatherings for the Mass, let us turn to Mary in our need. This weekend, let’s honor our mothers who gave us life and cared for us. Let’s thank God for the gift of our mothers, whether they bring happy memories, or difficult ones. And let’s pray a Hail Mary to thank God for the greatest mother who ever lived, Mary, the Mother of God!

Be at peace; God is at work!
Deacon Tim

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