Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Mother's Greatest Honor --- Ever

When Jesus came to this earth, He came via His mother Mary, a most humble way for a God to appear. When I think of Mary, I often think of her consent to the angel. A virgin birth occurred, one like no other, and I think of this as being the unique honor for her, and it truly was. But in reflecting on the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary last night, I realized that this was not, in my opinion, her greatest honor.

When I consider someone as being honored, I think of them as feeling honored, but I wonder what Mary was feeling, when the angel said: “Guess what!”

I know a number of mothers who tell their families on Mother’s Day: “Please, don’t make me breakfast in bed.” These moms know what their kitchen will look like after this “honor” from their family, and so they gladly forego it. From Scripture we can see that Mary was, well, at least a little flustered at the angel’s words to her. But what if she knew the full outcome of this “honor” being offered to her: a son, would will be despised by the temple authorities she respects, and who would be tortured and killed as a criminal by them while she had to stand by and watch. If she knew all this, I wonder what would have been her answer to this “honor” being offered to her. I wonder what your answer would be in that situation. Somehow, if she were fully aware of what she was saying yes to, I believe she likely would still have said “yes,” but I’m not at all sure that Mary would have felt “honored.”

Jesus was a man like no other. He was God. Although the devil would tempt the man, Jesus, offering Him all the things and powers of this earth, Jesus could turn him down. He had no need of any of those things. They were already His, possessions of the God, Jesus.

In fact, Jesus came to earth not to take anything from it (or accept the devil’s offer of anything), but He came to earth to give, many things. He came to give healing. He came to give love. And through His death, He came to give eternal life. Many of the martyrs offered all they could possibly give from this earth to Jesus. He welcomed these gifts of men, these gifts of their utmost love. He accepted these most important things men had to give, but Jesus never took any of these things from men. He had the power to take anything of this earth, but He came to give to men, and He took nothing from them.

Except …

I suddenly had some insight last night on what the word “Assumption” means. After Jesus died and rose from the dead, He “ascended” into heaven --- by His own power. But His mother, Mary, was “assumed” into heaven, body and soul, not by her own power, but by His. Her Assumption: she was assumed into heaven to be with Him. And, as the angels and even God the Father looked on, oh, she must have felt so honored at what her Son did for her.

Jesus took nothing from this earth, nothing, that is, except His mother, Mary.

On this Mother’s Day, I wondered at His action, the Assumption. What an honor for Mary, and indeed for all mothers. A God came to earth, and He could have taken anything from it, and the only thing He chose to take was His mother. Chosen by God to be the most important thing on earth; what great importance and honor He must attach to motherhood!

We chase after so many things in our life: work, money, power, sex, and yes, even love. We want so much from this world, thinking that these things will bring us happiness. But even if we obtained all we seek, we would not find real happiness.

Jesus showed us where our happiness should lie. Of all the things of this earth which were His to take, He took only one thing. There was only one thing on this earth so important that even a God wanted it.

Of all the things of this earth, Jesus chose His mother to be taken with Him to heaven.

If we are so dense that we cannot understand the importance which He attached to a mother, He even gave us a commandment to emphasize the point. It is the only commandment which clearly explains its importance: “Honor thy father and thy mother, that you might have eternal life.”

Happy Mother’s Day to all you so very, very important mothers. Thank you for giving us earthly life, and through the actions of Jesus and Mary, even giving us eternal life. We can’t honor you enough; we are so glad that God did.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful insight through prayer. Thank you for sharing.