Meanne M. Mijares
May is one of the most delightful months of the year. Delicate flowers in lively pinks, magnificent purples and glowing yellows thrive in the late spring sunshine. It comes as no surprise that it’s also known by the Catholic Church as the month of Mary. It’s a time when special devotions, prayers, sacrifices and pilgrimages are made in her honor to praise the Holy Trinity and offer thanksgiving and petitions for God’s graces given by her Son through her.
But any month is a good month to mull over on the mysteries of our faith. And although May is an especially good time, every month is a fine month to mature as Christians and draw closer to Jesus by learning from Mary. By meditating on holy mysteries, we can learn many things from Blessed Mother.
Here are seven of them:
Full Trust in God
Although Mary was born without the stain of original sin, she still had free will. But even when life became tough and later when she stare at her innocent Son being crucified, she kept on trusting God. She held on to her faith. Although there are different mysteries we could contemplate on to learn this skill, one of them would be the mystery of the Annunciation.
When God sent the archangel Gabriel to proclaim to Mary that she would be the mother of Our Savior, she was an betrothed teenage virgin from a pious family. Knowing the unforgiving scorn she could bear from her community and knowing the inconceivable duty being offered to her, she could have turned away from God. She could have told the angel that she was too frightened to accept such a gargantuan task. But her response was to trust in God-completely. And that trust brought Jesus into the world to redeem us. In Luke 1:26-38, Mary said “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.”
After she learns from the angel that her cousin, Elisabeth, is with child, she humbly goes to Elisabeth’s home to help her prepare for the birth. As soon as Mary greets her cousin, Elisabeth’s baby, John the Baptist, leaps in her womb, and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In Luke 1:39-56, she says to Mary “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.”
Although Mary could have raised herself for being so holy that she was chosen, among all women, to be the mother of God, she directly praised God, instead, and gave all the glory to Him. In the same passage, she says “My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.” Her dignity never made her proud. She shared her blessing who is her Son not to make her cousin filled with envy but to make her happy.
When she went to help Elisabeth, she had to walk many miles for days to get there. It wasn’t an easy-peasy journey, but she made it out of love. When she was almost ready to give birth, she again had to make a arduous journey to Bethlehem. Then, as we all know, after the journey, she had to give birth in a stable. Soon after, she, Joseph and Jesus had to become person in exile to protect Jesus from King Herod. Mary found strength in God to persevere and make many difficult journeys, including the overwhelming journey that led her Son to the Cross.
Gratitude and Rejoicing
Despite being so highly favored with God, Mary’s life wasn’t easy. But she remained thankful for God’s blessings and found great joy in them, even in the absence of confidence. The mystery of the Visitation concerning Mary’s visit to help Elisabeth is a complete and absolute example of the love, hope and joy she had already felt by carrying Jesus in her womb. She delighted in God and believed immediately in the greatness of her Son.
There is no hesitation of Mary’s eternal kindness and her motherly love for everyone saved by her Son. And while there are numerous mysteries we could meditate on, two particular ones stand out. The first, naturally, is the Visitation. Even though she was pregnant with the Son of God, she spent almost three months helping her cousin Elizabeth.
The second is the luminous mystery of the wedding at Cana. She encouraged Jesus to carry out His first miracle. And it was a miracle that brought dignity to the bride and groom and to their families. If the wedding guests knew that the host didn’t have enough wine, the host might have been disgraced. She also showed Jesus that she believed in Him and told the servants to follow His orders. Bringing her Son glory by asking Him to uphold the people’s dignity, she was kind not only kind to the people who needed the wine that Jesus established through jugs of water, but also to all of us who ask her to intercede for us. I have been a witness to this many times. In planning and coordinating weddings, I can feel the hand of our Lord and Blessed Mother that every detail was carried out well from start to finish. There were so many tasks at hand, my team and I could not accomplish them all without the Blessed Mother’s intercession and the Lord’s divine intervention.
Even though there are also many examples of how Mary was selfless, the supreme example is probably her journey together with her Son to his Crucifixion. Despite the repulsion and desolation of seeing her innocent Son suffer so much, she would never leave His side. Nobody would have blamed her if she withdrew from the unimaginable pain, but she didn’t. She put her own needs aside to comfort Him.
How to Love Jesus
There is no person who loves Jesus more than His mother. She believed in Him from the miraculous moment He was conceived. She held Him so close that He was soothed by her heartbeat. She became a person in exile to guard Him. And she considered everything He is and His greatness in her own heart. If we meditate on every holy mystery with her inextinguishable love for Jesus in mind, we will learn how to love Jesus more deeply. Let us pray to Her to ask for the grace of a perfect love for Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Although we can contemplate on Mary and these holy mysteries in many ways, St. John Paul II recommended praying the Rosary. In his document “Rosarium Virginis Mariae,” he wrote “With the Rosary, the Christian people sits at the school of Mary and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of his love. Through the Rosary the faithful receive abundant grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer.”
Ruminate on the Blessed Virgin Mary
Whether it’s during the month of May or any other month for that matter that is not quite as imbued with beauty, there is always a lot of valuable and worthy things we can learn from Mary. Taking some time to contemplate on Mary’s journey in the Bible will help fortify us as Christians, children of God and become even nearer to Jesus, Our Beloved Lord
Pray for us, Oh, Holy Mother of God that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ!