Christ gives his mother to be our mother too

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

IN the gospel reading of the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, (Jn 19,25-34) we see how Christ entrusts his mother to St. John. “Woman, behold, your son,” Christ told his mother to St. John who was also present at the crucifixion of Christ. And then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.”

The Church has always interpreted this gesture of Christ as him entrusting his own mother not only to St. John but also to all of us. This is one of the sweetest moments in the otherwise bitter episode of the death of Christ.

It shows not only Christ’s magnanimity and love for us, but also validates the basic truth of faith about ourselves that we truly are brothers and sisters of Christ. We belong to the same family. It’s worthwhile to pause for a while and savor this tremendous truth about ourselves that should fill us with great joy and strengthen our faith, hope and charity despite whatever we can encounter in our life here on earth.

The Blessed Virgin Mary is the epitome of how a mother should be—always caring for her children, ever ready to suffer for them and to defend and speak well of them in spite of how the children behaves. She, of course, would also be quick to guide and correct them whenever they stray, but always in a most tender way.

And that is because of her perfect identification of her will to the will of God, giving us a concrete example of how a human being can be so identified with God’s will that she becomes God’s perfect image and likeness as God wants her and also us to be.

We can be sure that how the Blessed Virgin took care of Christ would also be how she would take care of us. And that can only mean that at the end of the day, what she is interested is our own salvation and sanctification.

She definitely would help us how to stick with Christ, how to closely follow and be faithful to God’s will and ways, irrespective of how our earthly life goes. She would teach us how to be with God as we immerse ourselves in our earthly and temporal affairs which usually consist of small and ordinary details and items.

Yes, she would teach us how to be a real contemplative right in the middle of the world, how to transcend from the natural and infranatural conditions of our life to enter into the supernatural level of God meant for us.

How important therefore that we do not take for granted this duty to take care of our true common mother, ever deepening our devotion to her that should be lived with appropriate practices of piety, like praying the rosary, making pilgrimages to her shrines, giving her short ejaculatory prayers that would express our love and affection for her.

We should never be afraid nor ashamed to approach her, asking for her powerful intercession, whenever we are in trouble. To be sure, the Blessed Virgin Mary, being a mother, would be quick to clean us up whenever we find ourselves dirtied morally and spiritually. She is never scandalized by our sins. She is all there for us!

Developing a deep devotion to her would help us keep our relation with God strong and vibrant.