“Behold Your Mother,” are words that Jesus spoke to St. John as He hung suffering and dying on the Cross to redeem us from our sins. Sacred words spoken not only to St. John at that moment in time, but also to all of us at this present moment. The moment that I am writing this posting is on Sunday, May 13, 2018, which is Mother’s Day. The day is also the Anniversary of the apparitions that occurred in Fatima on May 13, 1917, which was a Sunday as well.
From the onset of this blog, I have entitled it a “Hand to Hold through Your Life’s Journey.” It has been dedicated to the Blessed Mother because she extended her hand to me when my own mother died of cancer when I was but ten years old. Today, on this Mother’s Day of 2018, I would like to honor the mother of Jesus Christ, but also “our mother” as she so rightly deserves. It would be good for us to read below the exact accounting from Scripture as it is written, before I begin to share with you some of my personal thoughts as well as the thoughts of others, about this beautiful mother who has been bequeathed to us by her Son, Jesus Christ.
When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved
standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold your son!
Then he said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!”
And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.”
I would like to quote now from Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s book, The World’s First Love. This is how he explains, “Behold Your Mother.”
“Through the centuries the Church Fathers have said that Our Lord keeps for Himself half His regency, which is the Kingdom of Justice, but the other half He gives away to His Mother, and this is the Kingdom of Mercy. At the marriage Feast of Cana, Our Lord said that the hour of His Passion was not yet at hand – the hour when Justice would be fulfilled.
His Blessed Mother begged Him not to wait, but to be merciful to those who were in need, and to supply their wants by changing water into wine. Three years later, when not the water was changed into wine, but the wine into blood, He fulfilled all Justice, but surrendered half His Kingdom by giving to us that which no one else could give, namely, His mother.”
Behold thy Mother.
Whatever mothers do for sons, that His Mother would do, and more.
Our dear Blessed Mother has come to our aid more times than we can imagine since Jesus spoke those Sacred Words from the Cross. She watches and sees what each and every one of us need personally. As a mother, she comes to us so swiftly when we but just call out her name. Her hands are filled with abundant graces for us. She is so Full of Grace, that she wants to come and distribute them as mother of us all.
The following is a testimony on the Blessed Mother that explains Her personal love for each of us that Fr. Leon Pereira, O.P. gave in Medugorje on August 29, 2016:
Our Lady loves you and She looks at you like “you are the only child in the universe,” and that she loves you so powerfully, so deeply.
She wants us to ask for her help and for her graces. And so she repeatedly comes in countless apparitions throughout the world to give us her love, her messages and instructions, and her motherly help in getting us all safely to the eternal kingdom of Heaven.
Here is but one example to explain the graces that are offered to us as children of Mary, through the apparition given to St. Catherine of Laboure in France in the 1830s:
|God’s mission is revealed to Catherine|
The mission that God wanted to entrust to Catherine was made manifest to her on November 27, 1830. It was the mission of making and distributing the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, now known as the Miraculous Medal. That day was the Saturday before the first Sunday of Advent. The Sisters were gathered in the chapel as usual for prayers at five-thirty in the afternoon. Suddenly Our Lady appeared to Catherine.
At first Mary appeared standing on a globe and dressed in white with a long white veil which fell to her feet. The Virgin held in her hands, at the height of her shoulders, a golden ball which she seemed to be offering to God as she raised her eyes to heaven. Her fingers were covered with rings whose precious jewels sparkled brilliantly and showered down innumerable rays of light on the globe beneath her feet, almost obscuring the view of her feet. Mary lowered her eyes and looked directly at Catherine. Mary said nothing, but Catherine heard this message, “The ball which you see represents the world, especially France, and each person in particular. These rays symbolize the graces I shed upon those who ask for them. The jewels which give no rays symbolize the graces that are not given because they are not asked for.”
In reading the above accounting as given by St. Catherine, how could we not ask for the graces we need for ourselves and for the others that we pray for, from this loving and generous mother?
Fulton Sheen also gives this beautiful accounting in his book The World’s First Love, of the reply of Jesus concerning His mother’s intercession to St. Gemma Galgani.
St. Gemma Galgani, of modern times, one day was interceding with Our Lord for the soul of a certain sinner. As Gemma pleaded for mercy, the Savior recounted one by one his frightful and abnormal sins. After the Savior had refused three times, St. Gemma Galgani said: “then I shall ask your Mother.” Our Lord answered: “In that case, I cannot refuse.” An hour later, the sinner in question came to the confessor of the saint and made his full confession.
I would also like to wish this Most Beautiful Mother on “Mother’s Day” a grateful Thank You on this blog for all that she does to make my life and those that I pray for, rewarding, and for the countless miracles she has helped to procure in my own faith journey with her by my side. She never fails us and teaches us to model our lives on her example. As a mother of two sons myself, I know deeply that I have held her hand at times when I did not know how to respond, when I failed at something or I needed strength to pull through a family crisis. Without her at my side, I could not have walked on bravely with courage and strength.
Last night, I received a beautiful email from one of my husband’s friends, Frank Thom. He wrote me in regard to my last posting regarding my husband’s illness but then continued to share about his own mother and what she meant to him. Here is Frank’s tribute to his earthly mother and also a tribute to all of our own mothers and especially our Heavenly Mother. . .the following are Frank’s words to me addressed on Mother’s Day eve through an email.
“That’s an amazing read. . .Anita!
I needed this today. . .on Mother’s Day Eve. . .
As I saw all the families and people preparing for Mother’s Day tomorrow. . .
I spent last year (Mother’s Day) with my Mom and she passed in December.
It was a tough day for me today.
So thanks for the inspiring words.
All I am. . .
All I ever hope to be. . .
I owe to my Mother”
So on this Mother’s Day, I would like to give tribute to all Mother’s celebrating this day, but truly it is “Mother’s Day” every day for “Mother’s” have received a great gift to carry and bring forth the life of a child that God has created in His own image. Mother’s Day is not about “one day,” it’s about every day and all the moments in between.
Mother’s Day is Everyday!!!
©2018 Anita Guariglia
Images by Mary Ellen Fosso and Margie Woods; Tulips by Anita Guariglia
St. Catherine Laboure and the Miraculous Medal by Rev. Robert J. Billett, C.M.F.
Testimony of Fr. Leon Pereira, O.P./ Medugorje – August 29, 2016
The World’s First Love – Fulton J. Sheen