Wednesday, September 14, 2016

My Soul to Glow in Christ’s Love

By Beth DeCristofaro

Last of all, as to one born abnormally, he appeared to me. For I am the least of the Apostles, not fit to be called an Apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God. But by the grace of God, I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been ineffective. (1 Corinthians 15:8-10)

When (from the cross) Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” (John 19:26)

O sweet Mother! font of love,
Touch my spirit from above,
Make my heart with yours accord.

Make me feel as you have felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ, my Lord.

This week’s news included a story of a school bus catching fire, becoming engulfed in flames as it drove elementary children home from school.  The bus driver is credited with getting every child off in time so that there were no injuries.  As she was interviewed she said that she heard people were calling her a hero.  But, she said, “I’m just a mom.  I have a four-year-old.”  And she continued, explaining she had just done her job.

Mary was a mother just doing her job.  Her job, of course, was raising the Son of God.  But it was also changing diapers, making fresh bread each day, hauling water from the communal well, observing the Sabbath and training her son, along with Joseph, to be a good, observant Jew.    Did she fear for Jesus playing with the other children on the rocks near Nazareth?  Did she join other mothers bragging and worrying about their kids’ learning, activities, and health?  We don’t know.  What we do know is that she “pondered” in her heart all that she saw, from an angel announcing her pregnancy to the words of Simeon in the temple and all the other usual and uncommon occurrences in the life of this son of hers, this son of God.

And she stood at the foot of his cross like parents have done through time immemorial as they watch, helplessly, their children become victims of war, addicted, perpetrators of crimes, wounded or killed by gun violence.  Jesus gave her to all who also grieve, fear, despair.  She is our mother, just doing her job.

In the words of the Stabat Mater: “Make me feel as you have felt; Make my soul to glow and melt with the love of Christ, my Lord.” Mary “partakes in our pain” because she has been there before us and is with us.  How might we go about our day aware that our pains, sorrows, joys are transcended by her sorrow and service?  Be open to the love of Christ melting and making your soul glow as did hers. 

No comments: