Mary, our Mother

Mothers are such a wonderful gift to us. They help feed and nurture us as we grow from infancy into adolescence and they don't even stop there. As Catholics, we have such a wonderful gift that comes in the form of our Blessed Mother Mary.

My earthly mother is a short little Asian woman who is extremely loving and cooks amazing food (I don't love her only for that reason, although it's a big reason). She never fails to look for opportunities where she can love me. Growing up as a cradle Catholic, my family and I would pray the rosary every now and then. Also, my late grandmother would pray the rosary every single day. I knew Mary was the mother of God, but I never knew the significance that Mary had and the important place that she has in our history of salvation. What was the point of praying to Mary? Who is she really? Why can't we just pray to Jesus?

Over the course of my life and in the gradual deepening of my faith, I have come to a better understanding of the significance of Mary. She is not only the Mother of God but also our spiritual mother as well. We can always go back into scripture in the gospel of John 19:26-27 where Jesus is on the cross, turns to his mother at the foot of the cross and says “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to his disciple “Here is your mother.” And from that moment the disciple took her into his own home. Jesus, the son of the living God, loves us so much that He not only gave the gift of his sacrifice on the cross but also the gift of His mother to intercede for us and to pray for all sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

I have had such a wonderful experience with the rosary and Mary this year with my team. This young man that I have come to know very well, was hanging out with me and the rest of the team one evening at the host home that we were staying at. We ended up praying the rosary that evening, however, this man was a non-practicing Baptist. I immediately felt anxious and uncertain on how he would react to a group of missionaries gathered around the living room with our little beaded weaponry in our hands praying. If anything, he would feel alienated by this experience. So, I decided to pull up the Hail Mary prayer on my phone so when it was his turn to say a part of the decade he could follow along. I remember when it was his turn to start praying, my palms were sweaty, knees weak… arms were heavy. And then… he prayed, he prayed the Hail Mary and followed along. It might not have seemed much at that moment, but to me it was a wonderful opportunity for the Holy Spirit to work within his heart while also honouring our mother in the process.

Praying to Jesus through Mary is such a powerful prayer. In scripture during the miracle at Cana, (John 2:3-5) it is Mary that goes to Jesus saying “They have no wine.” Spiritually, Mary is the one giving these petitions to Jesus, like how she went to Jesus and told him “They have no wine.” And what does Jesus do next? He leaves the wedding and… well no, he turns the jars of water into wine. Jesus cannot say no to Mary, and he was a master at obeying the fifth commandment to honour thy mother and thy father. We also can give Mary our petitions and prayers because she will elevate, augment, increase and purify these petitions to God. St Louis de Montfort gave this beautiful analogy “It is as if a peasant, wishing to gain the friendship and benevolence of the king, went to the queen and presented her with a fruit which was his whole revenue, in order that she might present it to the king. The queen, having accepted the poor little offering of the peasant, would place the fruit on a large and beautiful dish of gold, and so, on the peasant’s behalf, would present it to the king. The fruit however unworthy in itself to be a king’s present, would become worthy of his majesty because of the dish of gold on which it rested and the person who presented it.”

So, in short, pray to Mary. She cannot be outdone in her generosity and she does God’s Will perfectly. Her “fiat” resonates within all of us as we also have to unite ourselves perfectly with God’s Will in our lives. I have also heard it said many times as well: do not worry about loving our blessed mother too much, because you can never love her as much as Jesus did.

God bless,

Elton Jarvis, Mission Staff