Behold, Your Mother!

When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved
he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”
Then he said to the disciple,
“Behold, your mother.”
~ John 19:26

 I see a lot of my father in my temperament and talents. But it is my mother who has been the greater presence and influence in my life. And it gives me great joy and happiness that Ima spent the last years of her life with us in our home. I am very grateful to Anabelle for the love and care that she showered on my own mother in her final years.

A woman’s motherhood starts with great joy as she feels the growing child in her womb. But she also experiences great pain at childbirth. And from there on, every suffering her child bears the mother also feels, maybe with even greater intensity. When the child suffers, it is Mother that he spontaneously calls.

Mary stands at the foot of the cross, her heart totally broken to see her son crucified life a common criminal. The physical pain. The shamefulness of it all. The betrayals and being alone. And down the ages, followers of her son would also turn to her in times of pain and sorrow. Mary has responded in a manner like any mother would. She is always there for her children. History is replete with Marian apparitions from the earliest Christian times to the present. According to tradition, the Apostle Saint James the Greater (brother of Saint John the Evangelist) was sent by Saint Peter to Spain to evangelize the Gentiles of that province. While praying by the banks of the Ebro at Saragossa, the Holy Mother of God bilocated and appeared to the Apostle. She instructed him to build a church there, which he did.

Many songs have been written for and about Mary. Among my favorite Marian hymn is this one:

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.
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