As we begin our third week of Advent the Holy Family comes foremost in my thoughts. Specifically, this Advent Season, my thoughts bring me to Mary. Mary has provided us with the perfect example of a good mother. Mary had the wisdom of an elder and tenderly cared for Jesus in a manner that supported his ministry in life; even with the knowledge of the suffering he would endure and the heartache she would feel due to his plight in life. Often I think we believe because of her unique role in salvation history that we cannot ever expect to follow in her footsteps. But I believe this is inaccurate.
Mary embraced motherhood from a young age. I can’t even begin to imagine becoming a mother at 13. It was a big enough change when I was 20. Mary willingly and selflessly gave up her childhood for each and every one of us. She lovingly cared for Jesus as he grew within her womb. She surrounded herself by Elizabeth, a loved one that understood the miracles of God. From a young age, Mary embraced motherhood.
Reflecting on my own life as a mother, especially when being a mom is hard, I keep in mind Mary at the foot of the cross. Mary walked along with Jesus as he carried his cross. She never left his side, always loved him, prayed for him, even when it would have been easier to walk away instead of staying to endure the suffering and pain along side him. Mary provides me with the best example of being a mother. She reminds me that although my children have their own paths and own crosses to bare that I can remain with them, loving and praying for them. Even though two of my children are young adults and it would be easier to walk way instead of watching them stumble along the path, I am reminded of Mary. Mary inspires me to remain faithful to each of them on their life journey. To pray for them and like Mary, shed a few tears along the way.
Mary provides me with encouragement as a mother. As I meditate on the life of Jesus, I can’t help but pause in amazement at how wonderful a mother and person Mary must have been. After all, she was chosen to give birth to the Savior of the world! This Advent Season I embrace the “Yes” Mary gave the angel Gabriel. In awe, I look to her for continue guidance on being the best mom I can be. In admiration, I look to her with the knowledge that I too can walk along the path of life with each of my children, sharing tears, heartache and pain but also the joyous memories of the first time I held them in my arms or the warm embrace they give me each time they walk through the door. Most importantly I find great comfort that they too will find salvation in the life, death and resurrection of Christ.
Copyright 2012 Lorrie Lane Dyer
About the Author
Lorrie Lane Dyer is a facilitator for the Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation with the University of Dayton as well as religious education and parish coordinator. She is working on her Masters of Leadership Development, with a focus in Military Chapel programs at St. Mary of the Woods College. Her faith provides her with inspiration for many of her poetry collections, columns and short stories.