Friday, May 15, 2009

Devoted to the Bitter End: A Marian thought

For such an amazingly brave, young, and special lady as our holy Mother was, there is very little mention of her personal life.  We know she was brave at the annunciation with her famous "yes' to the angel Gabriel.  Taking the words of Simeone at the Presentation of the Christ child to her heart, she spoke not a word, or so we think. We know she was deeply concerned for her holy son when they lost him for 3 days.  She worried Jesus as possibly crazy and tried to summon him to come home, and she knew what to say when the wedding wine ran out in Cana. Mary, at the crucifixion, was determined to stay at her son's side despite the horrorific things being done to him.  She was a brave, determined, and faithful lady, in deed.  Supportive to the bitter end, she remained.  

Of all the things we know about her, we don't know about her personal life with Joseph, raising the child Jesus,  or just how she handled ordinary daily life.  We know that Joseph was much older than she and that men didn't live quite as long as Moses' generation.   So he had to have died while Jesus was young, possibly dying even before Jesus' ministry started.  At the wedding in Cana, there is no mention of Joseph, or when she came to fetch him home. St. Joseph was a special man as well, taking in a women with child...that was not his own while being betrothed to him.  Showing blind faith as dreams guided him and his small family, Joseph brought them from danger in the dark of night with a baby in tow.  He taught his young son his trade of carpentry, spending hours showing Him how to use the tools of the trade.

We can only imagine during the time when Joseph's body was failing, how Mary took care of him. Taking his health situation deep in her heart.  What did she go through?  From what we know of Mary, she didn't leave his side for a moment, caring for his every need until the very end, then lovingly washed, perfumed and wrapped his body for burial.  Tears?  Anger?  What we know is that she took all these things in her heart and dealt with them as they came without complaint due to her faith in God.

She was her son's first follower and believer, she supported family like her cousin Elizabeth during her pregnancy and birth of St. John the Baptist.  Her husband would be no different when his time came.

Fast-film forward two-thousand years into the present and the wife 2 doors down is going through this very time.  Married to her husband for 33 years, both in their early 50's, they have struggled with the news and treatment of his cancer over the past year.  She has traveled with him hours to find the best facilities and doctors for her beloved.  Now the cancer has spread into his lungs and around his heart...there is little time.  He wants to be at home in his chair with her and their children.  Family and friends have been coming and going all week to show their love and support; and to say good-bye.  She won't leave him, the farthest she'll go is to sit in the front yard for a bit.  Looking at her, you see her husband in her eyes, the years, the babies, the good times and the bad.  But more importantly you see the pure devotion to her betrothed.

What better example for others are these two women.  My prayers, heart, and thoughts are with this family tonight.

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