As a new Catholic, I am often encouraged to develop a relationship with the Blessed Virgin Mary. Through recitation of the rosary, Holy Days of Obligation, or even visiting the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue Statue of Our Lady of Fatima, the prompting to know the Virgin is heavily emphasized. Considering that she is the most excellent of all creatures and is the Mother of God, to know her is a big deal!
Prior to Our Lady of Guadalupe December 12, I had a detached view of Mary. I always thought that I needed to find and seek her intercession, wherever she may be between me and eternity. Far too often, I got caught up in her otherness instead of really viewing her as the Mother of God. This Wednesday got me thinking: Perhaps Mary is closer than I think.
As I reflected on the legacy of the apparition to St. Juan Deigo, I realized that Mary has an extensive track record of appearing to common folk in order to draw us closer to her Son. She has appeared in various time periods under different contexts, still, a constant message of repentance and submission to Jesus remains true.
There this humble man had an encounter with the Mother of our Lord. Then, she met St. Juan Diego where he was and eventually imprinted with a visible image of how her presence would be manifested to us for centuries to come. Because of this amazing historical display, Mexico was able to adopt Christianity and say “yes” to her Son.
I thought about the story of St. Juan Diego and I realized that she is closer than I ever thought! Juan Diego, as Pope St. John Paul II stated, “represents all the indigenous peoples who accepted the Gospel of Jesus.” The same Gospel her Son came to proclaim is what the Mother of God magnifies through her inseparable bond with her Son.
At the wedding at Cana, the Blessed Mother believed in the supernatural nature of her son before his ministry even started. She interceded for the guest to her Son so the wedding wouldn’t be ruined. A great example of her intercession for others!
Even at his Passion, there she was inseparable from his desire to save the world from its sin. At that moment, the Son gave his Mother to his disciple and from then she became our mother.
What exactly is a mother? One who intimately knows her offspring like the back of her hand. Yes, Mary is just that close to us Christians. Instead of some distant heavenly figure, she is the God-Bearer ready to console in her mantle of protection. She is indissoluble with the church’s mission here on earth.
So Mary is very close with us! It is imperative that we strengthen our relationship with her so she may guide us closer to the fullness of her Son. She was there at the two most important parts of his ministry, the wedding, and Passion. Literally, her request to us is “Do whatever he [Jesus] tells you.” She isn’t glorifying herself but is seeking to glorify God.