By Mariah Mulderink
How I Behold My Mother
We all have different experiences and relationships with our mothers. In my own life, I have been very close to my mom. She was a stay at home mom, she homeschooled me, and took care of everything else on top of that. When I was younger, I definitely did not notice all that she did for me or what it cost her (hours and hours of sleep). However, now that I am older, I can look back and either remember or imagine all that she did for me. There are so many joys in my childhood that are thanks to my mama. Once I was older, my relationship with my mother obviously changed. However, she has continued to give. She doesn’t do my laundry any more or make my lunches, but she does lend an ear when I need to talk. She does offer to bring dinner during those particularly busy times in my own home. She does take care of my son with all the love and generosity she has.
How Do I Behold My Heavenly Mother?
My mother is not perfect. What I have described does not include every aspect of our relationship. What I can say conclusively though is that I have been loved by my mother my entire life. So, that is how I describe my relationship with my biological mother, but what about my relationship with my Heavenly Mother? How do I describe that? It is clear, more than clear, that Mary loves all of humanity. I am loved by her. However, I cannot describe all that she has done for me. When I think about it, I feel like a child again when I didn’t notice all that my biological mother did for me. Mary does her work as a mother so quietly and simply that so often it escapes my notice.
What draws me back and helps me to notice better is when I contemplate the moment at which Mary became Mother to us all. She was watching her Son die on the cross after He had been beaten, abandoned, and mocked. Her heart had been pierced by so much pain and anguish. As she stood there weighed down by so much suffering, her Son said to her, “Woman, behold your son” (John 19:26). What we understand from these words is that in that moment, Jesus made Mary the mother to all of humanity. He gave her every single person to love as her own child. And this is what she does. Regardless of how we act or whether we love her Son or not, Mary loves us. She cares for us. She prays for us.
The Gift of Mary’s Motherhood
Do we see how great of a gift she is to us? Think about this. Jesus is moments from dying after He has suffered such a tremendous amount. He has given so much for us, for you and for me. And then, He gives even more. He gives us His Mother. In the moment when He is giving so much, He gives more. The motherhood of Mary is an incredible gift to all of us not only because she is such a beautiful and perfect mother, but because her motherhood is one of the greatest gifts we have been given by God.
Many of us have experienced the love of our biological mothers or our adopted mothers or women who have been like mothers to us. We can look at the moments where they have loved us. We can remember all that they have done for us. We must do this with our Mother Mary too. Take time to contemplate the many ways that she has loved you. Take time to contemplate all that she has taught us. Learn from her how to be a good woman. Learn from her how to love Jesus Christ.---------------------------------------
For the month of May, a reflection on the life of Mary will be posted each week. Catch up here!
Also, check out the many different aids we have for strengthening a devotion to the Rosary! Our 28 Day Rosary Challenge is a great place to get started.
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Mariah Mulderink is wife, mom, Masters in Theology student, and marketing director for Chews Life. Her greatest joys are her faith, her family, her friends, and any chance to be competitive. For her, one of the greatest privileges she has received is the opportunity to pursue her Masters in Theology. Studying the faith is not only fascinating but is also a beautiful way to know God better. She hopes her studies and her faith will always equip her to share Christ in her work and with every person she meets.
You can find out more about her here.