We need to give special honor to Mary who is not only the Mother of our Lord, but our Mother as well.
In the Gospel of John, we listen to Jesus’ words as He hung upon the Cross: “Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother’” (Jn 19:27). Jesus was speaking to John at that point, but it is commonly understood that John stands in proxy for us. That is to say, in speaking to John, Jesus was speaking to all disciples when He pointed to His Mother and said, “Behold, your mother.” And so, Mary is our Mother. The Mother of the Head (Jesus) is also the Mother of the Body (us), and as John took Mary into her home, we must take her into our hearts.
Like all mothers, Mary gives us life. By the sin of Eve, death was brought into the world. By her obedience, Mary brought life into the world making it possible for life to be restored to our souls. That’s why we say that Mary is our Mother in the order of grace (Lumen Gentium, 61). Mary gave the world not just life, but Him who is Life itself.
Like all mothers, Mary is a teacher. When she said “yes” to the angel Gabriel’s message, she taught us how to have faith. She taught us the importance of obedience to the will of God. She taught us that we must always be willing to say “yes” to God even when we might not understand what He is asking of us. She taught us that being humble doesn’t mean that you are weak. In fact, it takes great strength to live a humble life.
Like all mothers, Mary guides us along the right path. At the wedding in Cana (John 2), when they ran out of wine, it was Mary who brought this problem to Jesus. Mary said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Mary’s whole purpose is to guide us to Jesus. This is why we draw close to Mary – she will always bring us to Jesus.
In 2006, Pope Benedict explained to the world Mary’s role as mother and teacher:
In the days that followed the Lord’s Resurrection, the Apostles stayed together, comforted by Mary’s presence, and after the Ascension they persevered with her in prayerful expectation of Pentecost. Our Lady was a mother and teacher to them, a role that she continues to play for Christians of all times.
Every year, at Eastertide, we relive this experience more intensely and perhaps, precisely for this reason, popular tradition has dedicated to Mary the month of May that normally falls between Easter and Pentecost. Consequently, this month…helps us to rediscover the maternal role that she plays in our lives so that we may always be docile disciples and courageous witnesses of the Risen Lord.
May we allow Mary to be our Mother so that she can nurture, teach, and guide us on the way to Salvation.