Some questions have bewildered the minds of people for centuries: How can God have a mother? How can God be born in time with human limitations?
Our Church not only gives answers to the questions, but She also celebrates the reality of who Mary is when She proclaims Mary as Mother of God. However, questions are still asked especially non-Catholics. Yes, Mary is the mother of Jesus, but how can we say that Mary is the mother of God? How can anyone make such a claim? Follow the logic. Since Jesus is God, and Mary is the mother of Jesus, then Mary is in fact the mother of God. Yet, we certainly do not want our faith to be simply a matter of knowing. Although knowledge is a gift, the real journey happens when we accept that God did something wonderful, out of the ordinary. All we can do is stand back in awe and embrace what we can never understand. Just like St. Joseph. St. Joseph represents us. St. Joseph had to walk by faith. Guided by the voice of an angel in a dream, he remained faithful. As all fathers are aware, an intimate bond exists between a mother and her child. A father has a part but cannot imitate the relationship between mother and child. Inevitably, St. Joseph taught Jesus many things. Taught Him how to be man, a carpenter, to be a gentleman. Mary paid attention to the heart. Mary kept matters in Her heart. Countless matters were painful, like the circumcision, when Jesus shed blood as a baby. He wanted to identify with us in all things, except sin. Parents have a difficulty seeing their children suffer in any way—like sickness, physical limitations, rejection—but pain is part of being human.
No doubt that Mary witnessed the suffering of her Son many times, which is why one of Her titles is Our Lady of Sorrows. Yet, Mary also laughed, and sang, and danced, particularly at family gatherings, like the wedding at Cana. Through Mary’s intercession the wedding was saved. Without Mary the family would have suffered great embarrassment because they ran out of wine. What’s a party without wine? What’s a wedding without wine? The first miracle in the Gospel of St. John was initiated by the Blessed Mother. At first Jesus was apprehensive to get involved. But He knew His Mother and His Mother knew Him. Words were superfluous, like they are between two lovers. We give Mary a lot of credit. Indeed, She deserves our veneration. Consider that one of the few directives that Mary gave in the Gospels was at the wedding in Cana when She told the waiters, “Do whatever He tells you.”
What makes the Blessed Mother great is that Her life was centered on Her Son. Nothing else was more important. She was conceived for Christ, lived for Christ, was assumed body and soul into heaven for Christ. Mary said “Yes” to God and never changed Her mind, even in Her sorrows. Her life was not easy, but She had daily grace to sustain Her. None of us have identity outside of Christ, including Mary. The folks who have stopped coming to Holy Mass, who say that they don’t believe anymore, who are disappointed in the Church—how sad. We pray for them. However, what is important is that God has not stopped showing them His mercy, His love, and continued grace. If God would do for us only what we can do for Him, we would have ceased to be—not even a pile of dirt would remain. God holds us constantly in His loving hands, even when we are sinning. We try to sin less. But God knows who we are. He made us and loves us just the way we are—with the good and the not so good. The Blessed Mother is without sin. Yet, God also sustains Her. Mary cannot do anything or be outside God’s grace. God makes Her great. He makes Her worthy.
As beautiful, as pure, as wonderful as Mary is, She still needs God. She is one of us. We look to Her example of trust and say “Yes” to God always.