Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Relating to Mary
Last Thursday I had the opportunity to sit through a Stations of the Cross presentation by the grade 8 students at my school (I work in a Catholic school though I am definitely not Catholic). This station really hit home to me and made me think....
The Fourth Station: Jesus meets his Blessed Mother
Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, Jesus’ mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too."
Reflection: Face to face, Jesus and the Blessed Mother meet. Jesus is covered in blood, sweat, and spit, bent under the weight of the cross, subjected to angry shouts of hate.
And Mary, experiencing every mother’s worst nightmare that her child will suffer harm, feels the sword pierce her soul. Moving with fiercely protective love, she offers her son the little she can: the comfort of her presence.
Jesus, thank you for the gift of Mary, who models perfect love for us. In our love for you, make us fiercely protective of you. And help us remember that when we are present to those who are hungry, tired, and sad, those who are difficult, stubborn, and forgetful, we are loving you.
If I had known what Mary did, if I had a prophet like Simeon present at the moment I learned I was expecting twins who would have told me that my twin sons would not experience life as simple and easy as I wished for them, that they would struggle to survive and ultimately one of them would go to heaven before I ever saw his beautiful face and that the other would go on to experience repeated trials just to survive to a viable, healthy age in the womb and then would go on to be a beacon of hope for me, a precocious little boy who attracted the attention of so many just by being his vibrant self I would have balked. And to be told that their existence would pierce my heart and soul in a way that I could not imagine... well I think I might not have wanted to take that journey.
But the fact is that I didn't have a choice, nor did Mary. The fact is that although I wrote above that I might not have wanted to take that journey I know that I would have, I would walk and rewalk this path time and time again because it has made me who I am.
I did not experience what Mary did, no one beat my child, spit on him, doubted him, ridiculed him etc. But I can relate to looking at him and feeling a sword pierce my soul. My son's body was broken, bruised. It was not the body I knew he'd been given, it was not the way I wanted to see him for the last time. Losing him was never what I thought would happen, saying goodbye was never what I wanted to do. But I had no choice and my soul was forever changed when I held him, when I looked at his body for the last time. I could not change things. I could not make time go back to before his heart stopped beating. I could not erase the damage that time had done. I could only do what any mother would do.... love him, weep for him and speak words of comfort to him.
I thank Jesus for the gift of his mother Mary. She has modeled for me what a grieving mother who loves the Lord should look like... heartbroken, devastated and weeping and yet accepting, filed with hope, filled with love, filled with peace. She knew that God's plan was never her own and she accepted her fate every step of the way.
It's hard to accept my fate some days... the fate of TTTS and the loss of Cole but also the fate of the trials that are handed to me over and over again. But I know I must put my trust in the Lord and know that 'it will be my joy to say your will, your way, always'.