My Heart hurts for you Mary

Reenacting the Stations of the Cross in Jerusa...

Reenacting the Stations of the Cross in Jerusalem on the Via Dolorosa from the Lions’ Gate to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Holy Week and Easter, the most sacred time for the Church and what does my mind focus on: Our Blessed Mother.  Before I become a mom the journey to the Cross was some abstract thing that had no real impact on me.  I felt as if it was a piece of theater: Palm Sunday with the readings of the Passion, then Holy Thursday through Easter with the beautiful liturgies; but they were no more than that: beautiful liturgies to be experienced outside of myself not in.

When my boys, especially my boys because Mary only had a boy; makes me wonder what my thoughts would be if she also had girls, were little I thought of Mary most during Advent.  I journeyed with her most closely when I was expecting.  I wondered how the mundaneness of everyday life affected her faith.

But now with our eldest being 30, so close to the age of Jesus’ death, I feel this Holy Week beginning in such a different way. I see my eldest and how he has changed so much from the rebellious teen to an adult with reason, goals, a life ahead of him; and I wonder, how much of Jesus’ life did he share with his mom?  I do not know everything that goes on in my son’s life. He does not tell me every detail.  His life is shared with us, but not lived with us.  Was if the same with Mary and Jesus.  Were they close but healthfully separate?  Did he keep things from his mother to protect her?  Did he feels some details were too mundane to share, or too intimate?

What were these last days like for her?  Did she know of the triumphal procession into Jerusalem?  Did she hear rumours of how Judas was going to betray him?

Or did Jesus come to Sabbath Supper with a reassuring grin?

Like most moms did Mary have her mommydar go off, sensing some type of trouble brewing?  Did Mary have support?  It seems as if Joseph was already gone and she was a widow, so how did she fare with all her feelings?

Worry like this chokes you.  It must have choked Mary.  Did she pace the floors?  Did she scream to heaven for God not to take him?  Was she spending sleepless nights remembering the little baby she held in her arms?

Mary Magdalene

Mommy Mantra July 22, 2014:  Micah 7: 14-15, 18-20, John 20: 1-2, 11-18

Today we celebrate Mary Magdalene.  Many use this Gospel to point out that this is a story of Mary Magdalene’s growing and transforming faith.  They point out that she went to the tomb in the earliest of morning hours while it was still dark, saying the symbolism of the early darkness is Mary’s unbelief, further saying that her running away from the tomb was her running from her growing faith, only to have that faith pull her back to seeking for Jesus, finding him she grips onto him hard not wanting to let him go.

Now, I don’t see the Gospel in the same way.  Mary Magdalene  traveled with Jesus, she is mentioned by name 12 times, more than many disciples, and she is the one who stands at the cross as Jesus dies.  This is not the action of a shrinking violet of faith.

In the Gospel of Mark 16, Mary goes to the tomb with three others; they find the tomb empty but they do not run away.  They confront an angel in the tomb and ask after Jesus.

Gospel of Matthew 28 also has the women, this time two, coming to find Jesus gone and have an encounter with an angel who comes to them in an earthquake.  Again both women stay to hear what the angel has said and goes to tell the men the good news.

Gospel of Luke 24 has two other women joining Mary on her way to visit the tomb.  They also encounter an angel, receive the good news and tell it to the disciples.  They are perplexed, but no where do they seem to be afraid of the angel or to hear the news.

In two of the Gospels she does not running away, but standing there, perhaps confused, amazed, afraid, but she is till there.  In the one other Gospel where she does run she doesn’t go far and her reaction is because suddenly she is face to face with an angel who comes in an earthquake and is so dazzling that he looks like lightning, I’d run too!

It’s very interesting John’s take.  His Gospel is said to be written from the perspective of an eye witness account, so is his Gospel closer to what really happened and the others interpret the events according to their audience and their understanding, or need to understand, the message of Christ?   I don’t like seeing Mary Magdalene as weak, fearful.  She is the one that Jesus casts out the seven demons. She is usually thought of as the second-most important woman in the New Testament after Mary, the mother of Jesus.  It is interesting that in Aramaic, “Magdala” means “tower” or “elevated, great, magnificent, because she alone is the first to see Jesus at the Resurrection.

To me her association with Jesus gives her confidence and strength.  She is a woman so transformed by her experience of and association with Jesus that her life is never the same.

Today let’s pray for each others transformation.

What Would Mary Do. Random Acts of Kindness Makes You God’s Hero

marybuttonWhat Would Mary Do.
Thinking about the reading and Gospel and the random acts we can do; here is one.
This older mom pays for the nappies of a young struggling mom. For the younger mom it is an answer prayer. For the older, she feels like a hero.
Her feeling like hero isn’t a sign of selfishness. No! It’s a sign that she knows she has done her part in the mission of Christ. It may be something  the older mom will forget. But I know the younger mom never will.

Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

what motherhood is like

We are going to a birthday party for our Godson; it will be his first, and an exciting time for family and friends. It is a time for us to rejoice in this little boy’s life, looking back at all the milestones, not just the little boy’s but the parents as well; and with today being the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary it will be interesting for his mom to view this first year through Mary’s own experience.

Susan Netter wrote in her Facebook posting yesterday of Mary “pondering all these things in her heart”, and how parenting is hard, and we as “modern moms” ponder many things in our hearts. The Gospel this morning certainly reveals that Mary was going through experiences that we have go through or will with our own children. We see a teen age Jesus acting as teen age children do: exploring and expressing his own understanding of who he was becoming. And as older moms know and have experienced that process can be difficult, fear riddled and angering, the beginning of the letting process that is nature but not always liked by moms: seeing our children grow up, form their own response to God’s calling, and leaving the nest.

Did Mary, as she was searching for Jesus, look back on her life raising Jesus and see his milestones from infant to then and did she wonder if those memories would be her last? Did she vacillate between anger at Jesus being gone to her own doubts and worries to hope that Jesus is OK?

When Mary and Joseph stood at the Temple door looking in I don’t think they knew what as going on. It’s clear from the Gospel they didn’t, Jesus had to tell them why he was there and what he was doing. For our Godson the future is open, and the path being made. Mom and Dad are helping to forge that path, but it is our Godson who will be walking it. Like Mary and Joseph each decision whether conscientiously made or not helped shape Jesus’ journey but not the only influence, just as is true for our own children. And just as true of Mary and Joseph prayer, hope, and thoughtful guidance will be the best thing for our children

Mommy Mantra for September 28, 2013: Pay attention to what I am telling you. (Luke 9:44)

mom's examen 2013Mommy Mantra for September 28, 2013: Pay attention to what I am telling you. (Luke 9:44)

Friday, Jesus asked who do we think he is. And at times it sounds like who do you think I am; almost as if he is asking us do we think he is someone who does magic tricks instead of someone who is God of our life. He is very insistent that we pay attention; look around our lives/situations/events/relationships for evidence of his working in our lives. He is going to the cross. Going to suffer and die. He wants us to see how his suffering will free us from fearing our own. He wants us to see the glory. He wants us to see.

Go Ahead Insert Your Name Into the Gospel And See What Happens

wpid-MB900413440.jpgThis is a form of Ignatian Spiritual Exercise: Contemplation prayer.  Ignatius thought the use of our imaginations was a true gift from God; through it we could become one with those in Scripture and create a better understanding of God.  With this exercise we choose a Scripture passage, I have chosen Luke 10: 41-42, the Martha/Mary passage and am asking us to replace the name Martha with our own.  The passage would then read:

The Lord said to her in reply,
“Patty/Wilson, Patty/Wilson (Martha, Martha), you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her.”

What does doing that do to you…does it change the Gospel message for you?


Why Is It ALWAYSMe!!!

This Sunday was the Gospel, Luke 10: 41 – 42, of Martha and Mary…that famous Gospel of Martha feeling a little tender about being the only one working. She has been working in the kitchen preparing to serve our Lord while her sister Mary sits at Jesus’ feet. Martha feels cheated, perhaps a little betrayed, the old: why am I ALWAYS the one who gets the grunt work, kinda thing; it is something I know I have felt more than once as a mom; why is it no one can ever ________________.

But read this portion of the Gospel as if Jesus is speaking to you, personally, and see if it just doesn’t shake up something in you:

The Lord said to her in reply,
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her.”

I know it did in me!