Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Take Her Into Your Home

Why Mary?
"Take Her Into Your Home" by Elizabeth at Startling the Day

The "Bright Maidens" were originally three from the oft-mentioned, widely-speculated upon demographic of young, twenty-something Catholic women. Now, we all take up the cross to dispel the myths and misconceptions. Welcome!



Those weird Catholics and their pagan ways, worshiping Jesus' mom.

We've been accused of worshiping Mary on more than one occasion. You know what? Accuse me, brothers and sisters, if that's the easiest argument you can make against the Church.

But I am sorry you have not seen the beauty in regarding Mary as your mother. She'll love you from her place in the Communion of Saints.

John the gospel-writer was my least favorite of the four when I was growing up because of what I interpreted to be arrogance. "The Beloved" bugged me by seemingly hoisting himself above the rest. It didn't help his case when I realized I was standing for ten minute long gospel readings during the John calendar years.

However, this year I realized what beautiful contributions John's gospel made to our faith, including a strong explanation of love for Mother Mary.

On the Cross

(I don't own the rights)
Jesus was suffocating.

Hanging on a cross, with a body that has been brutally beaten and drained of blood after scourging, makes one's muscles collapse. He had to push up on his feet, just to reach for breath with his arms stretched wide and pinned to the wood with nails.

Imagine having to adjust yourself against the nails driven into your feet and hands, just to breathe.

Any words He spoke were spoken with purpose and many of them were to fulfill the Scriptures, as the gospel-writers address. One of the lengthiest speeches He gave from His place on the cross, He made to John and his mother, Mary, at His feet.

"When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, 'Woman, behold, your son.' Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother.' And from that hour the disciple took her into his home." -John 19:26-27
John referred to himself as "the disciple," instead of "the beloved," in this instance. He humbled himself in this moment of Jesus' pained speech.

Those who stand at Jesus' feet, looking up at the suffering Lord and looking to His resurrection are disciples. We are at His mercy and He has bestowed the grace of this sacrifice on us. Jesus was talking to all of us.

Mary gave birth to our Savior, she deserves deep respect and reverence. Jesus said so. 

Is it because she's a woman?

The confusion about why we revere Mary as we do is understandable. Jesus said He is the way and we emphatically agree.

God didn't exclude women from His plan. In fact, they were female hearts that Jesus trusted with the first revelations of his divinity and his resurrection.

Martha and Mary are iconic characters that teach us how to be followers of Christ. The woman at the well was the first to hear Jesus explicitly call Himself the Messiah. The woman who touched Jesus' cloak had an overwhelming faith that actually drained Jesus of energy. Mary Magdalene's conversion led to her discovery at the tomb. The angel revealed to Mary Magdalene that He has risen!

We need the examples of the disciples to build the Church. We need to learn from those whom Jesus taught directly and why He chose who He chose. We need to listen to His words and the traditions He passed onto his disciples instead of redefining them as we see fit.

And in accordance with His words, we need to revere Our Mother.

9 comments:

Stacy Trasancos said...

This was a great topic! I too have been discovering all the contributions of John's Gospel. It's inexhaustible. You wrote a beautiful piece about revering Our Mother.

Liesl said...

Mmmm I love the Gospel of John! I have been confused by the "disciple whom Jesus loved" parts too and my priest explained it that John represents all of us in the Church... and so when Jesus gives Mary to John, he is giving her to us!

Great post! :) And thanks for opening it up to all of us!

Mary @ A Simple Twist Of Faith said...

Elizabeth,

My Moms' bible study group is reading the gospel of John this semester. It has been an eye opener for me to see how much of the New Testament is foreshadowed in the Old Testament.

Another great resource is Scott Hahn's book, Hail, Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God.

proseypirate said...

"Is it because she's a woman?"

I guess that was that meant to be rhetorical? I expected an answer! {grin}

not a minx, a moron, or a parasite said...

Love it, sistah!

Bryan said...

I think something we often take for granted, or even bypass altogether, is the pain that not only Christ felt as He suffered on the cross, but Mary as she stood there helplessly watch her son die. It's something that I became deeply aware of on Good Friday.

Yet despite the pain and hesitation in her heart, she could say, "Let it be done according to Your will."

Mary gives us a great example of trusting God most when the struggles and hardship come. It's an area which I'm sure we all could grow!

Vanessa said...

I never truly understood the role of Mary, the love she had, or that we could even pray to her until recently. I always thought of her as "Jesus' mother." I have recently been discerning my vocation and it didn't occur to me that the love she has for each one of us and especially her son is an undying and unconditional love. The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity and Sister Lisa taught me a great deal about our Mother! :) Lovely post hun.

Anthony S. Layne said...

Thanks, Elizabeth!

My favorite "Mary moment" is at the wedding in Cana. Besides the theological points, it reminds me very much of a Jewish mother at a party prevailing on "my son, the doctor" to tend to an ailing guest. (Simcha Fisher's mom says that only Hebrew Catholics get the jokes in the Bible; I'm not Jewish, but I am familiar with Jewish humor.) And what she says to the servants, she says to us all: "Do everything he tells you to." There are so many levels to the Gospel of John ... so much richness of detail and symbolism.

Julie Robison said...

I think the avoidance of Mary comes with knowing how important she is. I never understood how one could look her as anything less than the most important woman in the Bible. She carried and raised Jesus. To underplay her importance is miss a big part of Christianity, which all looking for a feminine genius will find a-plenty in her witness. Thanks for this nice post -- I loooove the Gospel of John. It gives me chills.

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