Thursday, February 28, 2008

"And from that hour the disciple took her into his home..." (Jn 19:27)

Thanks to Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle for sending me today's image of Mary. After some discussion, we've concluded that it is the image of the beloved disciple John tending to Mary after the death of Christ. What do you think?

As a child I remember a simple chorus that was a favorite of mine:

Into my heart, into my heart,
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus!
Come in today, come in to stay,
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus!

This invitation of childlike trust echoes inside me each time I receive the Lord in the Eucharist, asking Him to come by the Spirit, wipe away all traces of uncleanness, and take up residence there. Each time I do this, I echo Mary's "yes!" "Yes, Lord, I believe ... Yes, Lord, I am expectantly, unconditionally yours. Starting right here, this moment."

I've known many Christians over the years who pray a similar prayer (though without the Eucharistic graces associated with the sacrament) and mean it. They want to be like Jesus. They want to love like Jesus. They want the same intimate relationship with the Father that Jesus had.

But His mother, they'd just as soon forget, except to haul her out to sit beside the manger each year at Christmastime. My brothers and sister, this we must not do.

With His dying breaths, Jesus entrusted His mother to John. And the Scriptures say, "From that hour the disciple took her into his home." Protected her. Sustained her. Loved her as a devoted son, for the sake of Jesus. Honored her, just as Jesus does.

So ... if Jesus is living in our hearts, and we want to love as He loved ... we must begin with the Woman he loved most, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Let us welcome her into our hearts and homes. Not to worship her ... God forbid! But to acknowledge how grateful to her for her blind, obedient faith ... and for her continued ministrations to us, now that she beholds the face of God.

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