I can recall numerous times where, upon hearing a loud scream from some other room in the house or the thud of our son’s head hitting the floor, my wife and I have run in haste to see what was the matter and hold him, comforting him. Other times, when he’s been picked on by kids in the neighborhood or at school, we’ve run in haste to console him. Still other times, when he has a good basketball or baseball game, or runs a good race, we run in haste out of joy.
For me it is largely a deep concern for his well-being. I want to protect him and be sure that he is OK and ease his pain. And I’m joyful and excited when he makes a big shot or good play, or makes a good decision to help someone else or does well on a test. I want him to be joyful.
But for my wife, his mom, it’s different. In a way that only a mother can understand – she almost feels his feelings. When he’s hurt, when he’s disappointed, when he’s sad, when he’s joyful – she’s almost feeling his hurt, the disappointment and the sadness and his joy deep inside her. She’s told me this before, and while I have a deep concern and love for Him, I just don’t really have this same feeling. She feels it in a way that I cannot because there is a connection there – between a mother and child – one that was forged by God when they were one body, when he was in her womb.
In these times, I run to my son out of protective instinct, but his mother runs to him because she feels him in her heart. I think this is truly how Mary feels about us, but on a much larger, inconceivable scale.
With Jesus’ birth, Paul writes today how through His coming God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Abba, from what I know translates to how a child in today’s world would yell out “Daddy!” It’s endearing, personal, and affectionate. And so through Jesus we have a very endearing, personal and affectionate relationship with God. In those times in our lives when we’re the child who has fallen down and hit our head, so to speak, and we need Him and cry out “Daddy!” – He comes running in haste, just as the shepherds ran to Him upon His birth.
But then there’s Mary – our Heavenly Mother and the Mother of God – of whom we celebrate today. When we’re that child crying out, being our Heavenly Mother, I truly believe there is a unique relationship there. I think, as our mother, Mary feels our pain – in a way we can’t imagine. She carried Jesus in her womb, and as the Mother of God, she knows God in a way that no one else does. And through Him she knows us – in a way that no one else does. And so, when we cry out to Him, I think she feels His concern for us, His love for us, and she feels our pain deep within her, through Him, as only a mother could.
She intercedes in a way that no other saint can. When we turn to our Blessed Mother, and call out to her, God hears us in a way like no other. This is why a devotion to Mary, and especially praying the Rosary is so powerful.
I’ve had prayers answered through the Rosary – sometimes answered in ways that I did not expect nor initially desire, but always the right answer in the end. I’ve seen people transformed through the Rosary, those around me who I’ve regularly offered entire Rosary’s or decades for.
I’ve seen transformations in my own life that I attribute to this devotion. Believe me, I have a lot more transforming to do, but I know she’s interceded and God has answered and I’ve been blessed with more than I can ask. The intercession of Mary is like no other, and with a sincere, regular devotion and crying out to her through sacred prayers like the Rosary – amazing things can happen.
This is why this day, this Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God is so important. She’s our mother too! She wants to help us, wants to be with us! She feels our pain when we’re hurt, she feels our joy when things are going good. And she’ll run in haste to us when we cry out to her and to her precious Son, Jesus. She knows and loves Him that much, and she knows and loves us that much – in only a way that a mother could.
Today we usher in 2017! So many of us are glad to say goodbye to 2016, and as we look to a new beginning with 2017, we have hope. This year, like all years past, will have its ups and downs. This year is significant in our Catholic Faith because it is the 100th Anniversary of the Fatima Apparitions, where the Blessed Mother appeared to three young children in Fatima, Portugal in 1917. There are so many truths and revelations brought forth by this event 100 years ago, perhaps even more than we can comprehend.
So for 2017, as we contemplate our hopes and decide on our resolutions, why not resolve on a devotion to Mary, the Mother of God, Our Lady of Fatima? Why not vow to say the Rosary daily, or a few times a week, or at least once a week with your family?Instead of resolving to exercise more, or eat less, why not vow to devote time to prayer with Mary this year. Let this be your resolution.
Mary runs to us in haste, just as the shepherds went to her Son all those years ago. We can get to Jesus, through Mary, in a way like no other. Let’s do so in haste.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for Us.
NM 6:22-27; PS 67; GAL 4:4-7; LK 2:16-21