As we begin the month of May, let us reflect on Mary, Queen of all saints, and her role in the Blessed Family.
We are familiar with Mary as Mother. She is in fact our Mother. We understand this from Scripture when Jesus was hanging on the cross – John 19:26 “Woman, behold your son.” If you are familiar with St. John’s gospel, you will recognize that he refers to himself as the “disciple whom Jesus loved”. Why? Because we can put ourselves into his place. We are the disciples whom Jesus loved. When Jesus gave Mary and John to each other in this mother – son relationship, He gave her to us in the same way.
We may be less familiar, however, with Mary as wife. Perhaps because she is The Virgin. Perhaps because she was Immaculately conceived. Nevertheless, the fact of the matter is Mary was a wife. The Angel told Joseph – Matthew 1:20 “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife”.
Let us reflect on that. St. Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, writes to the Ephesians the following – Ephesians 5:22 “ Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.” This is something to meditate on for sure – imagine how Our Lady had already submitted herself to the Lord when she said in Luke 1:38 “I am the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy word”.
Mary states that she is the Lord’s handmaid! Now think about how she who is without sin puts herself under the authority of her husband, St. Joseph! She who is without sin, under the authority of someone!!!.
Yet this is a reflection of Christ himself, who became “obedient, even to death on a cross” – Philippians 2:8. Of course we know that Jesus is God, and in His Divinity He knows everything. Yet, Jesus is also fully man, and “he was obedient to them” Luke 2:51. Surely in His Humanity, our Lord learned His obedience at least in part by the humble obedience of His mother!
This is such an important message for us, who are WITH sin. John 13:16 “the servant (i.e. handmaid) is not greater than his master”.
This is all summarized in the Divine Doctrine of Love, who is God Himself.
St. Catherine of Siena (a Doctor of the Church) says this about Holy Obedience –
“Oh! How sweet and glorious is this virtue of obedience, which contains all the other virtues! Because it is born of charity…” I emphasize charity, because it is another word for Love!
And so with this, my friends in Christ, do not be afraid to be obedient. This is a core doctrine for the family, as Mary so clearly teaches us. Let us strive to imitate her who so perfectly imitated her Master, our Lord, Jesus Christ!