Make Room for Mary

Mothers fascinate me. Maybe because I never thought I would be a mother myself, I have developed a habit of paying attention to the diverse ways women mother the world's children. Biological mothers, adoptive mothers, foster mothers, godmothers, grandmothers, teachers, religious sisters, caregivers--women in these roles share one primary concern: helping children grow.

Christian women, by the grace of God, also help children grow closer to Jesus. We open our children's hearts to experience Jesus. We encourage them to know Jesus personally, to cultivate a unique and vibrant relationship with the Lord.

The most fascinating mother I like to consider is the mother of Jesus. The Bible tells many stories involving Mary, which means the Holy Spirit invites us to contemplate her role in the Christian story. The wedding feast at Cana (John 2:1-12) is my favorite scriptural encounter with Jesus and Mary. Today's video explores why.

Jan Cossiers - The wedding at Cana, Jesus blesses the water
Jan Cossiers [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
In the video below, I share Pope Francis' evangelization intention for May, "Openness to Mission." The Pope specifically requests that all Christians ask Mary to pray for them as they decide how best to be Christ's witnesses in the world.

Not all of my Christian friends are entirely comfortable with the idea of asking Mary to pray for them, but the Bible shows Mary's intimate relationship with--and unparalleled faith in--her son. People who have been in love know that meeting the mother of their beloved is a big deal. Whether that momentous first encounter turns out to be splendid or horrid, the ongoing relationship with the beloved's mom has a deep and lasting effect on the two lovers.

Lovers of Jesus and readers of the Bible can't avoid encountering Mary. Jesus pays close attention to her, even when it seems he doesn't want to, as at the wedding feast. Imitators of Christ benefit from cultivating their relationship with the mother of our Lord.

Next week my article will share various ways to pray with children. Before May draws to a close, I'd like to explore ways parents help children to know and love Jesus' mom. Please comment below or email me at gurbanski@apostleshipofprayer.org to share your family's prayer traditions.

Thank you for praying with us!



[Transcript of video]

What is our mission? As baptized Christians, we must evangelize! We must proclaim the salvation of Jesus Christ to the whole world.

Interestingly, this is the prayer Pope Francis wrote for this month’s intention: “We pray that Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be open to proclaiming Jesus.”

Mary’s intercession. Why should Mary’s prayers be so important to the new evangelization?

For me, one of the most stunning Gospel stories about Mary and Jesus is the wedding feast at Cana.

The host, of course, runs out of wine. Wine! At a party! The symbol of joy and life!

Mary’s heart goes out to the host, so she asks Jesus to step in. At first, Jesus thinks this is no concern of his.

But Mary persists. She simply turns to the servers and says, “Do whatever he tells you.”

The result: exquisite wine, far better than anything available before Jesus stepped in.

Pope Francis has a deep love for Jesus, and great affection for Jesus’ mother, Mary. The Pope knows that Mary is persistent, and that she has unlimited faith in the power of her son.

If we want to share that power of Jesus Christ in our secularized world, we know Mary will ask Jesus to help us. And she doesn’t seem to take no for an answer.

So let’s pray with Pope Francis this month—and with Mary—for openness to our baptismal mission.

Amen



        www.apostleshipofprayer.org