Saturday, June 10, 2017

To Wonder at the Woman

"When Jesus saw His mother, and the disciple who 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 disciples took her into his own home."

- John 19: 26-27

These two verses of Sacred Scripture reveal two sacred truths (at least, two which I'd like to discuss; there are more than that):

1.) Jesus saved the best for last
2.) His best belongs to you; and you to her.

Consider that Jesus saved the best for last. Among His final gifts we find our Lord offering immense graces; the Holy Eucharist, the Sacred Priesthood, His holy example of faithful and long-suffering love, and His filial "Yes" to the Father in the "Garden of Crushing" Gethsemane is translated most commonly as "Oil press". This is the garden where olives were pressed to make oil. Spiritually this indicates the "oil of gladness" (which is our salvation) was pressed from the agony of the One "acquainted with suffering and crushed for our iniquity." (See Isaiah's suffering servant.) The pressure of mankind's sin and of God's justice began to press down upon the body and soul of the God-man. Here is where mankind's sin and God's love began to crush the body of the the Messiah and where His Heart began to be pierced. (Remember, too, that this is when a sword also began to pierce the heart of His Mother.)

But these gifts were not enough. Jesus, our King, had yet to crown His Queen-Mother over His Kingdom. Before He expired and "breathed forth His last" (i.e. His last breath being His last gift, the Holy Spirit, Whose reception was Providentially held in the Father's Heart until Pentecost after Our Lady finished preparing the Bride in the Cenacle for the Spirit's coming.) Jesus breathed forth the words of His penultimate gift - His Queen and Mother - "Woman, behold your son! ... Behold, your mother." We must wonder at this Woman; this New Eve. He gave this New Eve to His bride, the Church, to show His bride how to be "holy and immaculate" (Ephesians 5:27) He gives to the "disciple whom He loved" (i.e. you for you are His beloved disciple) a Mother. This Mother of Jesus is now our mother because we are "in Christ" and a "new creation." Our new creation came about through the spiritual and very real maternity of the Mother of Christ; the Mother of the Church (i.e. the Mother of the Body as well as the Head). The pangs of spiritual childbirth which Mary experienced at the Cross brought forth the New Creation which was told to "Behold your mother!" Will we look upon the one perfectly redeemed to see how we ought to be?

We can't forget, too, that we belong to her. We are her children; her responsibility. If we entrust ourselves to her Immaculate Heart as Jesus entrusted Himself to her immaculate womb then we will come to "full stature" in Christ. The more you love her the more you will be imitating Christ who gave all for her preservation from sin. He merited her Immaculate Conception by His suffering and death and, God Who is outside of time and space, applied them ahead of time to prepare the way for The Way to enter time and space. This is the grace of the Immaculate Conception. Jesus bound Himself by the Immaculate Conception to win for us an Immaculate Salvation in the Church. We are called to "Be Holy, for I am Holy." God spoke those words to Mary at the moment of her conception. "Let there be light!" And there was light. "Be holy and immaculate!" And the Immaculate Conception was brought forth whom we call Mother Mary.

Be hers and you will be safe. The God-man was safe in her arms and under her care. She is a gift to you. Be a gift to her. She is called "Mother" and "Queen" and you are called "My child." Be everything she deserves as your mother and which God your Father calls you to - your mother deserves your best; even to your last breath.