Friday, August 03, 2007

A few more thoughts about Mary

Ever since the death of John Paul the Great, I have, through his intercession, felt closer to our blessed mother, Mary. John Paul was able to find Christ in a more profound way through his mother. A good Jewish Mother is always bragging about her son the doctor or her son the lawyer. This is Mary bragging about her son, the savior of the world, without saying a word.

Today the reading was the controversial one from Matthew 13 where Jesus goes home and his town folk ask...

“Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds?
Is he not the carpenter’s son?
Is not his mother named Mary
and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?
Are not his sisters all with us?"

Of course, there is no little controversy about what this means. I believe it is clear that these aren't brothers of Jesus at all (see Catholic Answers on this topic) but cousins or step-brothers but Protestants want to degrade Mary as much as possible (without realizing that, in so doing, they are degrading the one who she bore) so they say these are younger brothers and sisters. I'll leave that aside for the time being. Instead, I had a bit of theological speculation. This will not come anywhere close to dogmatic truth so I don't think I could venture into the area of heresy but feel free to tell me if you think so.

Someday, each of us will "face our maker", if you will. And, we will be surrounded by a cloud of witnesses (okay, that was dogmatic, here comes the speculation) and one will be Mary, the faithful witness even when the disciples abandoned our Lord. At first, I wondered if Mary would be angry at all the people who made fun of her and chastised her in their lives. Of course, it's heaven so I don't think any of that would happen but I laughed a little thinking of Mary turning to Jack Chick (who will, of course, be entirely embarrassed) as she is standing with her crown next to her Son, the King of heaven and earth. He will have to face the fact that Mary's entire goal has been to lead us to Christ and that, even though he never acknowledged it, Mary undoubtedly helped him along his path of faith. The vengeful part of me just wishes that Mary would be able to slap him in the face.

But that's completely contrary to Mary and it tells me exactly why JPII keeps pointing me towards her. Once in a comment, I was asked why we catholics think that Mary is so important and I didn't respond. Here is one response: Mary is important because she shows us how we are supposed to act, how we are to love. Mary teaches us to cry out, "May it be done unto me according to your word" even before our savior brought about the salvation of the world when said, "Thy will be done."


Hillary said...

Fr Dennis - how does saying that Mary bore additional children degrade her or her son Jesus? (I'm not saying I believe this, just curious.)

Fr.Dennis said...

It's more the attitude that I hear, almost as though Mary was a harlot or something and so she clearly had to have had more children. It's an unfortunate part of the apologetic nature of the tone when Catholic theologians discuss such things with Protestants.

Adoro te Devote said...

One of the things I like to say to people when they have questions about Mary is point to the very last time she speaks in the Gospels, because it sums up why she is important:

At the wedding at Cana, she said, "Do whatever he tells you."

And she never says another word. She points to Jesus. Always. We look to her as an example, we take her as our Mother, and like any good Mother, she points out the right path and leads us by the hand if need be.