FROM THE DESK OF MRS. FARRELL, Director of Spiritual Formation
May is a very important month for us. It is one of two dedicated to Mary and the Rosary. The Rosary is a Marian prayer drawn from Bible stories of Jesus. As you know, the decades of the Rosary are collected under certain themes relative to Christ’s life including the Joyful mysteries, the Sorrowful mysteries, the Glorious mysteries and since, 2002, the Luminous mysteries.
Devotion to Mary, quite simply, comes from Jesus. We know that, in the Gospel of Luke, when the angel appears to Mary to tell her that she has been chosen to be the mother of Jesus (Luke 1: 26-38), Mary ends her conversation with the angel, with these words, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Therefore, Mary was the bearer of the humanity of Jesus. Or as St. Anthanasius stated in the 4th century, “God became man that man might become God”.
Though we have very little “biography” of Mary and Jesus, we know that she was devoted to Him as any God mother is devoted to her child. After completing the requisite religious rituals after His birth, including the His presentation in the Temple, Luke tells us “…they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him. (Luke 39-40)
So she cared for him and guided him so that He would become all that God meant Him to be…our Saviour. But like any one of us she also truly worried about Him. Remember when he stayed behind during their visit to the Temple in Jerusalem? And she spoke to Him as any one of us would speak to our child, who did something similar, saying “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.” (Luke 2:48-51).
As Jesus grew into a young man and began to realize His true identity and relationship to God, the Father, He continued in His devotion to Mary. Indeed, his first miracle took place in her presence at the wedding feast at Cana. Again, Luke tells us, “On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” A short time, Jesus performed His first miracle turning six jugs of simple water into fine wine. And Luke says “This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.” (Luke 2:1-5, 11).
This story is also the second Luminous mystery of the Rosary, second only to the Baptism of the Lord. Imagine, Jesus’ first miracle taking place at something as “human” as a wedding? Well, a miracle does take place at all our weddings, in Christ’s present through the Eucharist. So we too, come to share in the devotion of Mary to Jesus and, in turn, Jesus to his mother.
At the moments before the end of Jesus life on earth, He shows one more time His love and devotion to Mary. As John tells us “Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.” (John 19:25-27).
We are called to continually share in this relationship by devoting ourselves to Mary, as Jesus did, and remembering these incidents in their life together. We can do this most intimately by saying the Rosary and sharing it with our family, as Jesus shared His life with Mary.