Happy Birthday, Mother Mary!
Today is the birthday of our Blessed Mother. Today I post an edited version of a blog I wrote in May 2017.
At the end of this post I added a video of Father Corapi on why we honor and love Mama Mary. This says it all: "If Mary is good enough for Jesus, she is good enough for me."
Mary brings us to Jesus!
I have 2 friends whose names are both "John M." Both are in their early 80s. And both of them had something to do with a Lady, but in distinctly opposite ways. John M #1 is a retired piano teacher and viola player who lived alone. I first met him when he and I participated in a violin concert together with much younger students of Kaye B. many years back. When he became home bound, I brought him Holy Communion most weekends.
One day John told me: "You see our Blessed Mother who stands outside my front door? I don't know when I am going but when that time comes, I don't want her to be just dumped by the next owner of this house. She has guarded my house for as long as I have lived here. If you can take care of her, I will give her to you." I accepted the offer without a slight hesitation.
A week later my son Loy and I put the statue in his van and we took it to my home. It was only the following Good Friday when we had the Seven Last Words Reflections in church that it struck me that from the cross our Lord entrusted His mother to John the beloved disciple, and "John took her into his home." For more than two years now, our Mama Mary statue has occupied a place of honor in front of my entrance porch, on a spot where I cut down an evergreen tree to make room for her. She now has a new coat of paint with her cloak colored blue. My granddaughter Leila helped me repaint it. Now she often proudly says: "I helped Grampa repaint Mama Mary's statue." Mama Mary's shrine is never without flowers even during winter months when my clematis, roses, daffodils and tulips are not in bloom. My wife Maria does not scrimp to put tulips, carnations and daisies from Giant store in vases or pots in the shrine. John M #2 is our grass cutter who comes every two weeks. He is a cancer survivor who still works despite his age. At times we both share our respective faiths in friendly conversation. He is a former Catholic. Last year he cut, accidentally, with his weed whacker, one vine of my starting to come back clematis and I told him about it. Recently when the clematis were blooming again, I reminded him to be careful with his weed whacker near Mama Mary's shrine and I added: "I love her." He commented: "But you should not pray to her." I asked him why? He explained: "In the Bible, Jesus said to His mother: 'What is that to me and to you? My time has not yet come." "That was a rebuke to her." I said: "Do you realize that in that same biblical account, the Lord Jesus performed His first miracle though He said His time had not yet come? Was that a rebuke to His mother?" I added: "Why is it that we can say to one another: 'Pray for me' but not to Mary whom Jesus loved?" I went on to emphasize to John M #2 that we Catholics love Mary and honor her but this is not the same as putting her on the same level as God. In the wedding at Cana, the newlyweds did not have to ask her for help. She brought their situation to Jesus and everybody knows the rest of the story.
That incident with John M #2 encouraged me to talk more about Mary with him. I hope he has a correct understanding now. I have two friends named John M. But they regarded Our Lady, who happens to be the mother of Jesus, differently. John M #1 loved Mary and showed it by wanting to protect her image by entrusting it to me. John M #2 forgot that the Lord Jesus loves and honors His mother, and that we can never love and honor her more than He does. I am proud to say: "I love her. Jesus gave her to me as my mother, too."
No child of a mother is right in not loving and honoring his/her own mother. Jesus clearly taught this to us.#