Spirituality for Today – May 2008 – Volume 12, Issue 10

Mary, A Role Model For Our Times

By Rev. Mark Connolly

Image of an illustration of Mary holding JesusThis month we honor two important women who have played a tremendous part in the lives of each one of us. Mary, the mother of God and our own mother. If you go back into the history of the Church after the crucifixion, the apostles, the followers of Christ who were scattered, scared and a fragmented group, met in an upper room in Jerusalem totally demoralized, completely in the dark as to what their future course of life would be. There was one woman present who really took over and that was Mary, the mother of Christ. She encouraged them, she motivated them, she soothed them, she comforted them, she dynamized them in such a way that they left that upper room in Jerusalem and went to the ends of the world preaching not only about the teachings of Jesus Christ, but about his mother, Mary.

There is no question that Mary, the mother of Christ, had this dynamic and profound influence on the Church that enabled the Church to grow and prosper.

The second woman that has had such a profound influence on our own life is our own mother. She is the one who risked her life, bearing us and spent her time bearing with us. The comparisons between Mary the mother of Christ and our own is a simple one. If we really believe that Mary, the mother of Christ saved the Church years ago, then we can really look forward to the fact that so many mothers have the quality of our blessed mother. Those qualities not only help our home, but help our Church.

Every one of us can make a comparison as to how our lives have changed. Years ago most of us had mothers who stayed home. Most of us, years ago, had the awareness that there was a stability and a security because mother was there. Today life is much more complicated for the average mother. The fact that so many families move so quickly, that their time is quite fragmented, that they are trying to juggle a job outside and inside the home, is a reminder of the tremendous tension and stress that the mothers of today are under.

The great philosopher George Santayana once said, "Those who don't learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to commit them in the future". We can say the same concerning our devotion to our blessed mother. If we can't learn about the impact she had on the early Church we will miss the lesson she taught those apostles who went to the ends of the earth. Today, we congratulate all the mothers, but there is a terrible burden being placed on them today. We know that many of the mothers of our generation have many of the qualities of our blessed mother. We also know from history that Mary by bringing these qualities into the lives of the apostles saved the Church. We say to all of the mothers this month, if you imitate Mary, the mother of God, by bringing those same qualities of charity and compassion into the lives of the immediate members of your family, you will do a tremendous amount of good not only for your family, but for your Church. If there is anything our society needs, it is good mothers who can imitate what Mary did and bring those same qualities into the lives for the families that God has entrusted to your care.

Our prayers and our congratulations go with all of the mothers of today.