Saturday, September 15, 2012

Behold, your Mother!

"At the cross her station keeping, Stood the mournful mother weeping, Close to Jesus to the last. Through her heart, his sorrow sharing, All his bitter anguish bearing, Now at length the sword has passed." - Stabat Mater

(Gospel Text: Lk 2:33-35)
Jesus' father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
"Behold, this child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
and you yourself a sword will pierce
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."

The expedition led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to chart the American Northwest in 1804 required uncommon courage. The company set out heading into uncharted territory that included unfamiliar native tribes, grizzly bears, new terrain, and unimag­ined conditions. The expedition was undertaken by strong, stouthearted men whose fidelity to the mission was unquestionable. But the success of the whole grand endeavor hinged on the help of a young Native American woman. Sacajawea knew the land into which they were heading, and her guidance and help preserved the company from catastrophe and enabled them to return triumphant.

Like Lewis and Clark, we believers are also called to embark on a journey that is fraught with peril: the journey to the cross. Many of us set out joyful, eager, and excited, only to find our resolve challenged in unexpected ways: the loss of a loved one, a terminal illness, the betrayal of a friend.

What will we do when our understanding of God’s love doesn’t match up with our experience of pain or bitter disappointment?

Mary can help us hold onto our trust in God’s mercy even when God doesn’t seem to make sense. At times like these, she invites us to join her at the foot of the cross. There she saw her son, conceived with such hope and promise, die a tortured and shameful death, alone and abandoned by all but a very few friends. There at the cross, even as sorrow, grief, and bitterness washed over her, Mary trusted God. She believed he would bring good out of that tragic situation. And he did!

The Lewis and Clark expedition took three long years to complete. Our own journey is still in progress. There will be times on this journey when we are tempted to take matters into our own hands or to give up hope. In those times, we can let Mary guide us on the path of courageous faith and surrender to God.

She is our mother, and she knows how to care for us and bring out the best in us.

No comments:

Post a Comment