Yesterday before the Mass at Ascension I found five kittens who had been left at the Church by someone. I saw them in a wicker basket, and they looked only a couple of weeks old. I brought them inside put them in a larger box so they could move around and gave them some water. Unfortunately, they needed someone to feed them and provide them with water, they weren’t old enough to do it on their own, and I didn’t know or have what I need to do that for them. As I was sitting in my office,I could hear them meowing loudly. It pained me to listen to that, and I wanted to help them and make them feel ok. However, I knew only their mother could calm them and give them comfort. This, unfortunately, wasn’t possible as whoever dropped them off didn’t bring their mother along. Fr. Paul brought them to a place last night where hopefully they will find a home and a loving owner to take care of them.
We know the same is true for infants and their relationships with their mothers. They long to be with them and their mother brings them comfort. It’s always painful to see a young child separated from her mother, whether it be because the mother can’t take care of the child or something more tragic. We all desire to have the bond with our mothers, from the moment we were conceivedour relationship with our mothers is a strong one.
Jesus’ relationship with Mary is no different from ours with our mothers. Our Lord was in Mary’s womb for nine months, and she cared for him just as any other would their son as he was born. We are told Jesus was obedient to his parent’s and I’m sure Mary taught our Lord many lessons. When he was in his 30s, she encouraged him to enter into ministry at the wedding at Cana. Finally, Mary was at her son’s side on the cross. It was at this moment that Jesus said to her, “woman behold your son.” Then he said to his disciple “behold your mother.” Jesus shows his deep love for his mother by entrusting her to John and John to his mother. However, this call was not only to John but also to us as well. Mary is our spiritual mother as well!
Mary is an example to us as well especially in how she approached life. It can be easy for you and me to get bogged down by our busy lives and forget to slow down and ponder things in our lives. Life sometimes can become very hectic for us. Especially during the holiday season where there are many family gatherings to attend, meals to cook, letters to write and send and many other things. It can be easy for us to run from place to place and never slow down and like Mary, reflecting on these things in our hearts.
I think of those kittens I discovered the other day, and how my heart hurt for them as they longed for their mother. In all of our lives, we will be separated from our mothers, and they may become more absent in our lives. Part of growing older is becoming more independent. However, we all know that a loving mother is always there for us. However, sometimes life’s circumstances may change that. Our mothers may have gone to see our Lord. I know just like those kittens even though your mother still may be living some situation in life has caused separation. No matter how close are far we are from our Mother’s; Mary can be there for us and be strong support and comfort for us in our own lives.
We celebrate the great mystery today that Mary is first the Mother of God, and how Jesus had parent’s just as you and I do. However, today is also about the fact that Mary is our mother and spiritually she cares for us as any mother cares for her child. Take this new year to grow closer to Mary, our mother. We can follow her lead this new year and reflect on the scriptures on a daily basis, pray the rosary not only just reciting the prayers but to reflect on the mysteries. Finally, I believe we can go to Mary just as we would go to our mothers when things are difficult, or even things are good for us. Just like Ralphie’s mother stood up for her child after he beat up that kid, so to does our Heavenly mother Mary look out for us and pray for us so that we can be united to her son for all eternity.