A Face Only a Mother Can Love

Immaculate Heart of Mary


I’m not a mother. So I don’t know what mothers see when they look at their children. Maybe they see their husbands, or at least the father of those children. Maybe they see what they love about their father. Maybe they see what possibilities lie ahead. Maybe they see themselves. Go ask your mother. Hope she doesn’t plead the fifth.

The gospel passage proper to today’s memorial recounts Jesus’ most excellent trip to Jerusalem with his parents at the age of 12. When they finally caught up with him sitting among the teachers and lawyers, looking all confident and asking intelligent questions, and that snarky response when his mother pointed out his cluelessness to their anxiety, maybe he got a whooping, maybe he didn’t. But it probably took Mary back to the angel’s visit announcing the birth of the Messiah, and that she said yes not truly understanding the implications of that answer. And it had to have given her pause.

When Jesus gave himself up to save us and reconcile us to the Father and to one another, he made us adopted daughters and sons of God. And in the same instant, he made us his sisters and brothers, and children of his own mother. I bet Mary did not imagine she had signed up for this too. Nonetheless she embraced us and took us under her wing. And I’m sure in our own way we give her pause as well. Ours are the faces only a mother can love. Yes you too.

Our devotion to Mary is never truly about Mary. It is about her love for God and the example she sets for us to open our hearts to God, to embrace his plan, to place ourselves at his disposal, to know and fulfill his will. We take time to pause in the midst of the turmoil that is 2020. Does our devotion to the Mother of God draw us closer to God? Take time to ponder and resolve to be that face the Mother of God would love.

This mass was offered for the repose of +Tim McDow.

Rolo B Castillo © 2020