As Catholics we are surrounded by symbolic reminders of the Blessed Virgin Mary: icons, statues, pictures and rosaries. But think what it must have been like for St. John to take the Mother of God into his home. No doubt, living with Mary was a very profound experience for the beloved disciple. Surely his relationship with her must have deepened his relationship with God and his ability to share the Son of God with the world.
What a great opportunity John had to learn who Jesus is. Mary knew him better than anyone else. Even though she pretty much fades into the background after Jesus is born, we know she was always learning from him. As St. Luke tells us, she “pondered all these things, reflecting on them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).
John and Mary must have prayed together and reflected on the life and death of her Son. As John recounted some of his own experiences Mary must have helped him grasp their meaning, shedding new light on the important events of Our Lord’s life: his birth, his hidden life at Nazareth, his ministry, even his Passion. Instead of a rosary, John had the Blessed Mother herself present to explain the mysteries of our faith.
At the foot of the Cross, Mary became Our Lady of Sorrows, but her sorrow was mixed with joy as she reflected on the redemption that her Son was winning for the whole human race. In this, she teaches us that even in our greatest sorrows, there is the hope of a Saviour and the promise of eternal life for all who persevere in their faith and place their trust in God’s providence.
We welcome Our Lady into our lives when we reflect with her on the mysteries of her Son. Like St. John, we can bring our experiences, our confusions, and our half-formed judgments to her and ask for greater clarity. We can ask her to help us embrace those children of hers whom we sometimes find difficult to love and accept. Mary is the Mother of the Church, let us make her our Mother as well.