As Jesus suffered in agony on the Cross, “Then he said to the disciple (St. John the Beloved Disciple), “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.” John 19:27
What a gift Jesus has given us, His own Mother to help guide us through the darkened paths of this life to the Light of her Son! As disciples of Christ, we should embrace Mary as our Mother and imitate her virtues, allowing her into the “household” of our hearts, so she can lead us H.O.M.E. to Christ’s Heart.
Mary embodies the virtue of quiet humility, a characteristic that Catholic Christians should strive to imitate. Throughout all of the episodes of Jesus’ life – the joyous, sorrowful as well as glorious mysteries – she displayed an unparalleled level of humility and meekness, supporting Jesus in childhood and into adulthood with her God-fearing and maternal nature.
Mary shared in Jesus’ joys as well as His sufferings. She cradled Him in infancy shortly after His miraculous birth and held Jesus close to her Immaculate Heart just after His gruesome death on the Cross. Mary humbles herself and exalts the Lord; in fact, she magnifies the Lord, extolling and praising God:
And Mary said:*
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him.” Luke 1:46-50
A second trait Mary personifies is that of obedience. The Blessed Mother had profound trust in the Lord. Her acts of surrendering to His holy will and obedience to His word showcased her true love for God.
Because she said yes to God, we as humanity received the gift of the Word Incarnate, her Son Jesus Christ. “Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:38
Answering in the affirmative, Mary accepted all that came with being the Mother of our Lord, with its elation as well as sacrifices. Her charitable willingness to always and obediently do God’s will, in spite of sorrows felt by her most Immaculate Heart (such as witnessing her Son’s Passion), showed her great faith.
By obeying the Lord, she opened the “household” of her heart to God and His will. As a result, Christ made His home in her womb, and later, gave her as a spiritual mother to the entire human race.
A good priest once asked his parishioners what they thought the proper attire should be when in the presence of the Lord. Some said “modest”, some mentioned “formal”, while still others remarked that while the clothing need not be fancy, apparel should be “well laundered”, or “clean”.
The priest thought all the answers were appropriate, but did not feel like anyone fully satisfied his inquiry, so he delved deeper, probing his congregation once more: “How should we adorn our hearts when we are in the presence of Jesus?”
The Mass attendees remained silent, and so the priest continued, “We must approach Jesus with a clean heart, adorning it with purity so that He may happily dwell within us.” Mary, the Mother of God, who carried the Word made Flesh in her holy womb, possessed a clean and modest heart.
Her Immaculate, open, and pure heart and soul were always ideal dwelling places for the Lord. Mary embraced modesty and lived full of God’s grace and in the light of goodness. It is no wonder she is referenced in Scripture as,
“A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman* clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” Revelation 12:1
We must strive to imitate Mary’s modesty so that our hearts, too, will be fit dwelling places for the Lord.
Yet another noteworthy attribute of the Blessed Mother is that of her empathetic love for others. Empathy may be defined as, “the vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.”
Being human, the Blessed Mother identifies with the human condition, understanding the vast array of human emotions—from joy and peace to worry and grief. At the Wedding at Cana, she must have sensed the anxiety of the bridal party when they ran out of wine. Mary, in her kindness and motherly confidence, immediately sought help from her Son, Jesus. This shows how she shares in our emotions and is willing to lovingly intercede for those who experience times of trouble.
Her last words that appear in Scripture were said during the Wedding at Cana, “Do whatever he tells you.” John 2:5. This statement has a much grander implication and broader application than in just the context of the story itself, meaning, all Christians should listen to the wise words of Christ’s holy mother and do what Christ tells us.
Mary continues lovingly to intercede for us with her Son, to obtain for us the graces we need to follow His Commandments.
So let us honor and follow our lovely mother dressed in blue, our Mother Mary, and welcome her into our household, so she may lead us, by her virtue and pious example, “H.O.M.E.” to Christ.