We are so lucky Mary never held a grudge!
This week's reflection is written by
Rev. Richard R. DeLillio, OSFS
Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her. He said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.
After hearing this scripture passage read aloud, Joel, a seventeen-year-old attending his high school retreat remarked, “We should be truly grateful that Jesus’ mother didn’t carry grudges against humanity.” Tim, his classmate, responded, “Why’s that?”
“Look at the pain and suffering our sins caused her son,” he responded. Joel continued. “Yet despite all that she pushes away her pain and suffering and keeps on loving us. Wow! We are so lucky to have Mary on our side! She shows us real love!”
What a profound insight from such a wise teenager. Joel’s words point out a persuasive truth. Simply stated, given all the hurtful and cruel things God’s creation did to Jesus and frequently still does through negligence and sin, Mary never looks at us with an angry heart seeking revenge. Exactly like her son, Mary loves each of us without counting the cost.
She keeps us in her tender and merciful heart which beckons us to come to her with trust and confidence. No matter how far, or how frequently we wander from her son, Mary never ceases to carry within her heart a compassionate desire that on our last day we all come home to her Son. “Wow! That’s real love!” as Joel noted previously.
Mary took to her heart the words Jesus whispered on the cross, “Woman, behold your son.” Gazing at John standing next to her, Mary also hears, “Behold all your children.” At that moment, Mary showed the power of her love and mercy. She shows it with her modest acquiescence how forgiveness and healing work.
As our Mother, Mary still desires that the salvation her Son gained for us be completely ours. She earnestly prays that we embrace her Son’s sacrifice as a treasured gift and to faithfully follow Him every day of our journey. Even as we make mistakes and weaken, Mary prays we recognize our flaws, rise and try again. Mary, like Jesus, wants all God’s people to arrive safe and sound in the divine household.
For Mary knows that when we respond to His love, we are living Jesus and that her Son’s mission lives on through us. As St. Francis de Sales wrote:
“Holy Mother of God . . .you were to give the Son a mother’s love in time, to echo the love the Father has for Him in eternity.”
And together with Joel our best response still is, “Wow! We are so very lucky to have Mary on our side!