Virgin Mary, John the Baptist and Child Jesus II
William Adolph Bouguereau (1825-1905)
For the most part, except for the high churchmen of the Episcopal / Anglican church, the Blessed Virgin Mary is politely forgotten. The more Protestant churches during the Reformation basically demonized her and during the 16th century statues of her were burned or hacked to pieces after they had been paraded through brothels. Question is, “Why?” As Martin Luther stated, “Mary suckled God, rocked God to sleep and prepared broth for God to eat,” but for the most part she has been pushed aside. As one theologian put it, “we drag Mary out at Christmas and then pack her safely back in the crèche box for the rest of the year.” However, Holy Scripture is a testament as to why that shouldn’t be so:
- The nativity and the visitation of the Magi
- At the dedication with Simeon and Anna
- Found Jesus in the temple
- Present at the first miracle
- At the foot of the Cross with John
The list is impressive.
From these events and the related scriptures, it is very clear that Mary’s role and position is being elevated, not only by Scripture, but by God. I don’t press anyone into believing this, but I have to ask the question, “If Mary appeared in the Gospels so much and was so significant to the life of Jesus, then shouldn’t she also be important and significant to me as well?”
Consider this, at the foot of the cross when Jesus was crucified scripture says, “When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” Many scholars agree that in saying to John, “Here is your mother,” that Jesus was speaking to us all and declaring his mother to be the Mother for all believers.
Now, I’m not naive enough to believe that we are all of the same opinion on the significance of the role of Mary, but I do believe that we should be able to recognize in her something worth aspiring to and should also see her as one, who like all the other saints, can assist us in our daily lives.
She is known as the Mother of God, Queen of Heaven, Bride of Christ, Mother of Mercy and by so many other heavenly titles. She can assist us by interceding for us in our daily prayers and by standing beside us in our times of trial. She understands the sorrows of the world better than any, especially after having stood by the cross and experienced her own deep sorrow in witnessing the death of her son Jesus.
Today, on this feast of the Mother of our Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary, I encourage you to consider her not only as an example to follow, but as the mother of us all. She is full of compassion and mercy. It is good to speak to her and to call out to her as one of her children, for in the time of your deepest need, she will embrace you in the same manner that she embraced the very Son of God.