Friday, August 9, 2013

Mary, Our Adoptive Mother

In my time as a Catholic, I have often encountered those who wonder at the position of honor and esteem that the Blessed Mother is held in. I have heard many Catholic voices, generally more informed and articulate than mine, speak on details such as the special place she holds in Jesus' own heart as His mother, or the fact that she was born without sin and remained above it for the duration of her time on Earth. There are many reasons as to the special regard she is meant to be held in, but one in particular that I feel does not receive adequate attention.

Mary, the Blessed Mother, is Jesus' mother, which of course is a very special honor on its own. But because of the nature of Jesus' life and sacrifice – because He gave Himself up in exchange for the redemption of our souls – He must be understood and seen as our representative, our champion, and our benefactor. He gave us all that was His, and while the focus is on the grace and salvation that was shared in this act, so also were we given His mother. It is spelled out explicitly in John 19:26-27:

When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother!
And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

Here, we can see that Jesus very explicitly gave us the very special privilege of calling Mary our own mother, and calling upon her for her intercession, prayer, and compassion.

Why is this so important? For one, it is a symbol of Jesus' willingness – or more accurately, His desire – to raise us up above our sin and let us be His own brothers and sisters in God's grace (Luke 8:21 - And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.) Beyond that, however, is the fact of Mary's great love for her son, and for all of us whom He has named her children. It is no small thing to be able to call such a woman mother. And because Mary so loves her son, she loves all of us as He has asked her to, and is willing to pray for us, fight for us, and share with us her abundance of grace.