Mary as Our Mother

On the occasion of the Assumption, 2012


When Jesus said to John, “Behold your mother,” and to Mary, “Behold your son,” I use to put this in the category of a desire, a dying wish, a directive from his leader and her adult son, the head of her household.  It recently was shown to me that this is Jesus who is speaking, the one who “is God” and was “with God from the beginning,” the one “through whom all things came to be.”  In that context, we may substitute the words of Genesis for “Jesus said.” “And God said” to John, “Behold your mother,” and to Mary, “Behold your son.” And, as at Creation, “and there was” a new family, a new relationship.  This was not just a relationship of convenience, of social necessity, or even just of affection and love.  The ontological relationship between John and Mary changed. Whether the genetics changed or not is matter for a different discussion,  but, like the bread and wine at the Last Supper, when Jesus said: “This is my Body…this is my Blood,” were His Body and Blood, though they still appeared as Bread and Wine, so too Mary and John, after God said they were mother and son, were mother and son even though, to the world they appeared as disciple and widow.

On the occasion of the Assumption, 2012

The Church has always read this giving as the giving of Mary as mother, not just to John, but to humanity.  This, too, falls under the aegis of an ontological relationship.  Mary is not just a nice person to care for us, not even just Jesus’ mother who cares for us.  Mary IS now, as a being, our true human mother.

While there were many “reasons” for Jesus to assume Mary, body and soul into Heaven, one, and perhaps a primary one, was to enable her to assume her duties as humanity’s mother, a task which, without Divine help, Divine re-creation, without the pouring forth, the manifestation, of the amazing powers bestowed with that ontological change at the foot of the cross, would have been humanly impossible, even for the immaculately conceived Mary. And for the second time, in a sense, the Spirit came upon her and the power of the Most High overshadowed her, and she was conceived anew as our Mother, Queen of Heaven and Earth.