And she sits inside the starlight/Knowing that He is a king/But to her he’s still her baby/ And she looks upon her King now/And she worries for her son.
-And She Worries For Her Son by Carol Barrington and Larry Hogan, 1975
As a teenager, a friend shared that she had seen a picture of Mary in her mind. This picture was slightly unusual, because Mary was trying to get out of the way! She was pointing to someone else-her Son, Jesus. This remains for me a reminder of Mary’s role: to show us the way to Jesus. Mary’s humanity shines through for me. She is the mother who “worries for her son” and who puts her faith in God-even when she does not really understand what is happening.
Mary’s vulnerability, fear and suffering are often found alongside an extraordinary courage and blind faith. For example, the news that Mary is to become the mother of God will mean suffering and rejection for her, since she will be a pregnant, teenage girl, alone and vulnerable. What thoughts raced through her mind? Will I be stoned, spat upon? What will Joseph think of me? Whatever her thoughts, her heroic response is inspirational: “I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be done unto me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)
I have often returned to Mary’s “yes”. A couple of years ago, I came before God knowing that I often said “no” to Him. Often I would roll my eyes or sigh heavily when asked to do something simple round the house, such as washing up or hoovering. I was difficult to communicate with, exploding regularly and often viewing situations in a negative light.
As I reflected upon my negative attitude, God showed me a voice of rebellion within me which said “no” far often than “yes”. In contrast, He showed me Mary’s “yes” response to the angel, as well as her advice to the guests at the wedding at Cana-“Do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5). Mary knew that God loved her, that He had the best plan and purpose for her. God showed me that He wanted the best for me, too. I realised that “yes” brought life whilst “no” brought death. Since this time, even though I don’t always get it right, I try to say “yes” more often.
A few years ago, a friend made our three children a Rosary each, with the mysteries named on a specially made box. We often use these rosary beads to learn about Jesus’ life through Mary’s eyes and explore what it means to be a follower of Jesus. I often mention the courage and “gutsiness” of Mary-she refused to let life overwhelm her, even in the face of pain. On the day of Pentecost, after the agony of seeing her Son die, she is waiting with the disciples for new life, for the Holy Spirit. This is a great example of perseverance and hope: “Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 5:5)
The hope and faith Mary shows can help us in our own walk with God today- to say yes to His love and His plan for us, and to take courage when life is hard.
Mary Immaculate/ Merely a woman, yet Whose presence, power is Great as no goddess’s/ Was deemèd, dreamèd; who/ This one work has to do—Let all God’s glory through.
From “The Blessed Virgin Mary Compared to the Air We Breathe” by Gerard Manley Hopkins
By Andy Drozdziak