The history of Mary, the mother of Jesus, is similar to the stories of other mothers of “special” children. You may know very well that your son is not like all other kids, but in reality, nobody can prepare you for what the life may bring. Both Mary and Joseph had their plans for future, in which, I suppose, there was no place for such a special child. They welcomed him, even in the midst of doubts. Mary received the proof in the person of Elisabeth who got pregnant in advanced age. Joseph had to be visited by the angel to calm down his anxiety. And this way they understood that their life will be the future more than insecure, without GPS, with the only trust in God who has always been faithful to his promises.
Mary was a mother close to her child and to his plans for life. Although Jesus not always seemed to be of good mental health, although all might marvel of his words and deed, although it might not be easy to understand, Mary “kept it all in her heart”. She loved Jesus without conditions. That’s why she stood by his side in the most painful moment of his and her life: the cross. No mother should ever present the death of her son, even less such a cruel kind of death. But this is how the love of a mother is, love for a “special” child.
The tradition of the Church tells us the Mary was virgin before the birth, in the birth, and after the birth of Jesus”. Supposingly to underline that there was no stain of sin in her. But if we apply to this way of thinking a little bit of logic of the words of Pope Francis that “the sin is not a stain to be cleaned but a wound in the Body of Christ to be healed” we can conclude that Mary was the one who cared for the body of Christ the most, be it physical or moral one, and that she keeps taking care of it in its form of the Mystical Body: the Church. Her virginity means also that she wasn’t “contaminated” by the non-evangelical values; inserted in this world, exposed to the hostile postures of rejection of God, she conserved the faith in Promises and she keep conserving it as the Church of all times. She belongs totally and uniquely to God, to nobody else.
In the writings of Francisco Palau, Mary is “the perfect and furnished image of the Church”. She reflects the Church is if she was a mirror, all the aspects in supreme perfection. “Anything that exists and is preached of perfect, pure, holy, about Mary, can be considered in much more excellent and sublime way about the Church” (MR 11,19). The Church is the mother of all, no matter how “special” we might be. She is mother of the saints and of the sinners, of the believers and of those who went astray from the road of faith, of those who love her and those who hate her. She loves us all unconditionally, she accompanies us even in the hour of our death, bot physical and spiritual. The Church is also a virgin in her essence: she is the body of Christ and takes care of all her members, she is preoccupied for its growth and maturity. Inserted in the world that is many times hostile and that rejects God, conserves faith. She belongs to God alone, not to the world with its logic.
Mary reminds us of what type of the Church we are called to construct. It is a Church that is poor, whose only richness is Christ. She lives attentive to His word, incarnating it in the life of the peoples. She fulfills the plan of salvation that God thought for all the nations. She loves and she welcomes without conditions, without waiting for our “normality” understood humanly as “being like others”. She accompanies her children to the cross, without words of hatred nor actions of condemnation. She is present when we pray and when we lack the joy of living. She lives in the middle of her people, without pretending she is more, without claiming honors nor respects. She keeps in her heart the logic of God who fixes his eyes in the small ones. She has doubts, and in the moments of uncertainty she seeks for the signs of God’s action in others’ lives, to proclaim together His greatness. She cares for the body of Christ, especially its most venerable parts. She allows her children to choose their own ways because she knows that there are many ways that lead to Father’s house.
Let us sing together to end this reflection:
Yo busco una Iglesia nueva, lugar de alegría y fiesta:
que viva en comunión con Cristo su Cabeza, en un solo amor.
Yo busco una Iglesia pobre que esté al servicio del hombre,
que lave nuestros pies y en el amor fraterno entera esté su ley.
UNA IGLESIA SANTA CON SOLO UN CORAZÓN
ES LA “COSA AMAD” QUE BUSCO YO (2 v.)
CONTRUYAMOS JUNTOS LA FRATERNIDAD;
LAS PALOMAS PUEBLAN EL AZUL DE PAZ.
SOMOS PIEDRAS VIVAS DE LA GRAN CIUDAD,
¡UNA IGLESIA NUEVA ESTÁ SURGIENDO YA!
Yo busco una Iglesia viva que resplandece en María,
Esclava del Señor y tipo de la Iglesia en todo su esplendor.
Yo busco una Iglesia virgen, esclava, pobre y humilde,
de puro corazón que se guarda indiviso sólo para Dios.
Yo busco una Iglesia nueva; alegre ciudad de fiesta,
vestida de la luz, Jerusalén, amada, novia de Jesús.
De Dios Uno y Trino nace la Iglesia hecha a su imagen
que tiende a la unidad y crea entre los hombres la fraternidad.