During the 1960s there was a movie with a theme song titled “The Mother is Dear in the World”. It was sung by a young girl and, even after 50 years, is still famous today and often played around Mother’s day each year.
The song speaks of a child being treasured in their mother’s eyes and of the immeasurable happiness and joy of being held in her arms. It speaks, too, of how distressing it is without having such a mother, happiness nowhere to be found. Yes, a mother is, indeed, dear to the world. Children who have a mother, even if they are unaware of how blessed they are being held in her embrace, smile even in their dreams.
Whenever I listen to this song many memories of my own childhood are evoked. Are there any memories that you have about being loved and comforted by your mother or grandmother, or someone whom you called ‘mother’ or ‘mum’?
When I reflect on the life of Mary (Our Lady), even though there are very few references to her in Scripture, my most profound impression is that of a woman whose life speaks of gentleness, humility, sensitivity, care, silence and trust. The wedding feast of Cana is such an example of all these qualities and reveals clearly her motherly love. It reads in scripture: Mary said to Jesus “They have no wine.” (Jn 2:3). These simple words not only showed her gentleness and care, but also showed her motherly concern for the newly married young couple. Mary had noticed their needs even though they had not asked for her help. She turns to her Son, Jesus, for his help and intercedes for them.
“Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5). Mary’s words revealed her deep hope and trust in her Son. Hope and trust require silence and self-giving. For Mary, it was not just in this event but in her whole life that her silence was a silence of love. Her self-giving was the fruit of that love. Jesus fulfilled Mary’s request for his help, which was exactly what she was waiting for. The month of May is especially devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Roman Catholic tradition. During May, then, let us especially honour this extraordinary and blessed woman, our Mother Mary who loves us and intercedes for us in all our needs. Let us pray with her for our world, our country, our families and ourselves. Let us especially remember the sick and suffering and all those caring for those afflicted by this current pandemic, COVID-19.
May all our sisters and brothers in Christ experience, through us, the tender love and motherly embrace of Mary, Mother of God – smiling even in their dreams.
In Honour of Mary, Mother of Jesus
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray with us.
Holy Mother for all the nations, pray with us. Mother of the Word Incarnate, pray with us. Mother of Hope for all peoples, pray with us. Mother who teaches us the paths of discipleship, pray with us.
Mother who bears the image of Christ in the heart of every people, pray with us. Mother who teaches the nations to sing of God’s glories, pray with us.
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be worthy of the promises of Christ. *
Taken from Edward Francis Gabriele, My Soul Magnifies the Lord, p.189. 1996 by Ave Maria Press, Inc.
Katrina Zhang rsm
Art: © Raúl Berzosa