Mary, Mother of God: Keeping her close

January 1, 2015 | spirituality

My Scripture reflection from today’s pages of Give Us This Day:

When I was growing up, I’d sometimes get annoyed that I was named after the Blessed Mother. Every time a religion teacher would tell us to write about our patron saint, I’d wonder which of Mary’s many titles I should choose.

As I became an adult, my Mary issues deepened. She seemed too perfect, too high up on a pedestal to be seen from my lowly position. And then, in an instant, everything changed. I became a mother, and in one fell swoop Mary jumped down from her throne and became the very human mother she was, a woman who struggled with doubt and fear, confusion and pain. She may have said “Yes” to God, but that did not take away the suffering she would encounter.

In today’s Gospel, Mary listens to the shepherds. And, we are told, “Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” How very ordinary, storing away memories the way all mothers do, the way I store away handprints in clay and heart drawings from preschool.

It’s unfortunate that we tend to relegate Mary to such a lofty place—Queen of Heaven—rather than keeping her close where we can see her, in the muck of the everyday life she knew so well. No mother wants to be kept on a pedestal when her children are crying out for comfort.

If you don’t already subscribe to Give Us This Day, do yourself a favor and click the link and subscribe today. It’s a great monthly publication with the readings of the day, daily reflections, essays on spirituality, and an abbreviated version of Morning, Evening and Night Prayer.

FYI: The artwork above was given to me by my husband, Dennis, this Christmas. It was made in Italy, and I’m assuming it’s a copy of something famous, but I have no idea what. If you know, feel free to tell me in the comment section.


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