Light and Life – May-June 2019, Vol 72, No 3 – A Publication of the Western Dominican Province
Mary is a model for how we can grow in loving intimacy, both with the people around us and with her son, Jesus. In the following three examples from Sacred Scripture, we can see various ways that Mary intimately participates in love and invites us to do the same.
First, “Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.” (Luke 1:39-40) Communication is essential to participating intimately in loving relationships. Mary shows us the importance of communicating naturally and fully by making the effort to be present to Elizabeth in person. Rather than simply writing a letter or sending a greeting through someone else, Mary makes the long trek “into the hill country” to share in the joy of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Mary reminds us all that it is always worth the effort to visit our friends in person.
Second, at the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee, Mary said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5) Mary’s admonition is applicable to all of us, as we should all strive to do whatever Jesus tells us to do. When we are obedient to the will of God, there is a twofold result that helps us grow in intimacy with both Jesus and the people around us. We grow in intimacy with Jesus because our wills — and our desires — become guided by Him. Also, just as the servants at the wedding feast in Cana work together to fill the jars with water, so also will we find ourselves cooperating with other Christians in serving Jesus. By following the will of Jesus, we grow not only in intimacy with our Heavenly Father, but also in intimacy with our fellow believers.
Third, St. John the Evangelist gently reminds us that “standing by the cross of Jesus was his mother.” (John 19:25) After all had been communicated, after all had been done, Mary continued being by the side of her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. At this very moment, when Mary is at the foot of the cross, Jesus gives her to His disciple — to all of us! — and says, “Behold, your mother!” (John 19:27) When we take Mary into the home of our heart, she gives us the strength and courage to always keep our eyes focused on her Son, Jesus, who is the alpha and omega of all true intimacy. He loved us before we existed, and He will love us for all eternity. Just like Mary, we are called to encounter that love every day and to share it with all.
I praise you, LORD, with all my heart; I will declare all your wondrous deeds.