Rev 12:1; John 19:27
We begin the month of May honoring Mary, the Blessed Mother. Throughout the globe there will be processions with flowers and perhaps even crowns where a statue, symbolic of Mary's presence, will be crowned.
There are many Christians who are appalled by this, which is due to lack of understanding on their part and lack of charity as well.
First, we process to signify that life is a journey, a pilgrimage. From the moment of our baptism, we were filled with the Holy Spirit and began a journey back to the Father, but also a journey of living our faith in and through all circumstances. A public procession symbolizes and invokes the reality of faith being a public reality. Faith is to be professed publicly, outwardly in a community. We journey together.
We place flowers and a crown on this symbolic representation of the Mary, the mother of Jesus. We do this to recreate heaven on earth. In the book of revelation, we are told of a woman clothed with a son with a crown of twelve stars upon her head. This is the vision St John gives us of heaven. Mary is the woman with the crown. This crown she wears is not of her own doing, we do not sneak our own crown into heaven, but rather God, the Father, has placed this crown upon her head. We imitate the Father in crowning the Blessed mother. Through her yes, Jesus entered the world, Jesus had access to our humanity, redemption was inaugurated in time and space. If Mary has a crown on her head then God must have given it to her.
So we recreate that reality, giving thanks to Mary's yes which brought Jesus into our lives.
Secondly we fulfill one of the last commands of Jesus from the cross. In John 19:27 Jesus entrust Mary, his mother to the beloved disciple, "Then he said to his mother, 'Woman, behold your son.' Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold your mother'. And from that hour the disciple took her into his home."
Jesus invites the disciple to take his mother into his home. Jesus also invites his mother to claim us as her own, "woman, behold you son." We honor her who through Jesus and by his command has become our heavenly mother. The crown we place upon her head is our sign of gratitude and thanks.
Just as God the Father entrusted himself and the world to Mary as she conceives and bears his son into the world. Jesus also entrust his mother, Mary to us and us to her, as he brings forth salvation and redemption by his death and resurrection.
Mary illumines the path, like the moon that reflects the light from the sun, so Mary reflects the light of Christ for us. As the Father ask for her intercession the moment the angel ask her to become the mother of Jesus, so Mary continually intercedes for us. We look to her for guidance that she made lead us every closer to her son.
We can boldly ask for her to pray for us as we would ask our earthly mothers to pray for us. We can thank her for he guidance as we thank our earthly mothers for their guidance.
We remember that being a mother is more than just giving birth. A mother is one who cares for us. A mother is one who chooses to be there for us. A mother is one who puts the will of God first in their life for us. The Blessed Mother is all of these things and more.
As we approach, we should have the words, "Mother May I" pressed upon our lips in honor and thanks for the hidden guidance she brings to us daily as we move ever closer in step with Jesus her son, our brother, as we journey back to the Father.