I know I may have begun the Lenten Season with a low-grade sense of dis-courage-ment but, by God’s grace, I have entered the Easter Season with a felt joy in the experience of Jesus alive, and a new courage as he says to me, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20).
St. Ignatius invites those who have made decisions to follow Christ to experience the grace of Christ’s resurrection. We have considered the consequences of being faithful to being his companions. We have heard him telling the early companions that the world will hate them as it hates him.
We have been invited to be in the world but not of it.
He has prayed that we not be taken from the world but be a blessing within and about the world.
And He has given us His mother as the most beautiful reminder of how to courageously achieve this.
When we experience meeting God in the risen Christ, my thoughts often turn to Mary, the mother of Jesus. What must she have pondered in her heart during all those gospel moments throughout her Son’s earthly life? The Annunciation, the Presentation in the Temple, finding Jesus in the Temple when He’d gone missing from them, the Passion, and standing at the foot of the cross during the Crucifixion. Did her heart ache with the desire to have us meet & know & love her Son too?
The gospel writer Luke has a special attraction to Mary and her pondering heart. Mary did not take what was happening to her at face value, but sought the deeper, hidden intentions behind her experience. She was perplexed and pondered what sort of greeting the angel Gabriel gave her when he said “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28). She pondered the words of the shepherds, (Luke 2:19) and kept all the mysterious events of Jesus’ childhood and “treasured all these things in her heart.” (Luke 2:51). We can only imagine her ponderings at the foot of the cross.
Mary is nothing like the passive recipient of God’s will that is normally assumed of her. She is perplexed. She wonders. She ponders her future and the meaning of God’s will. She questions God – “How can this be?” (Luke 1:34). I wonder if that question occurred to her repeatedly as she endured the life, death, and resurrection of her Son.
Mary is the model of courage.
It has been beautiful for me to watch my daughter, during this Easter Season, pondering in her own heart all that God is asking her to do – as she prepares to take on the role of motherhood for the first time. And just as Mary waited and prayed while her Son was in the womb & all throughout His life leading up to the tomb – I pray our daughter draws on the courage of the Blessed Virgin Mary; to strengthen, guide, and sustain her in all the mysterious moments of raising her expectant child.
St. Ignatius piously pictured Jesus, at the Resurrection, as appearing to his mother first after being raised from the tomb. What a most beautiful embrace of mother and Son that would be.
The very same beauty I know will occur as our daughter embraces her own child with this same faithful love for the very first time.
hugs n’ blessings to all the beautiful new life being celebrated this Easter Season!
“Just always be waiting for me.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
A suitcase packed with everything necessary for: “Oma & Gompee’s or Bust!”
“Can anything harm us, mother, after the night-lights are lit?”
Nothing, precious,” she said; “they are the eyes a mother leaves behind her to guard her children.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan