Charity registration No. SC002876  
Sunday May12th. 2013
This is part of a beautiful article on Our Lady written by Dominican Sister Mary O’Driscoll, a theologian who has taught in the Angelicum University, Rome, for many years,and gives us a new insight to Our Lady from a  woman’s understanding of her.  Sometimes in our eagerness to honour Mary, we are inclined to speak of her as if she were not a member of  the human race. Rather, she is perceived as a quasi- divine being, suspended outside time and the circumstances of daily human living. Indeed,  Catholics are sometimes accused by those of other Christian traditions of viewing Mary, instead of Jesus Christ, at the centre of our Christian faith. All this, of course, is no tribute to Jesus' mother - the person who, precisely, because she was a flesh-and­blood woman, was to give a human nature to Jesus, the Saviour. In her  humanity therefore lies her greatness. In fact, we can say that  Mary is the woman who 'humanised' God! In Galatians 4:4, we  read, 'when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His  Son, born of a woman, born under the law'. This statement from  Paul, while not directly a reference to Mary, is a confirmation of  the basic reality of the Incarnation, namely, that God's Son,  Jesus, assumed human flesh from his mother.  It might be helpful therefore, in this month of May, when we honour Mary in a particular way, to reflect on her humanity and what it has to say to us about our own humanity. The Historical   Mary Like all other human beings, Mary of Nazareth was born into, and lived in a particular historical, sociological, economic,  political and cultural context with which she interacted and which influenced her. She was not protected from the hardships and uncertainties of life. She had to question, worry, reflect, experiment, make decisions, grow up, and grow old as do. Contrary to many representations of her, she was not forever the young beautiful maiden of sixteen idealised in art, but became over  time a middle­aged woman with possibly some wrinkles and grey hairs! It was in through her human life that Mary grew in holiness and was transformed by grace.   Mother of Jesus  As every mother knows, the act of giving birth is not the end of motherhood but rather the beginning. And so it was with Mary. brought her son into the world, she suckled him, cared for him through the teething process, delighted in his first babbling words, taught him to walk and trained him in personal hygiene. She would also have laughed and cried with her son, comforted and encouraged him when he was hurt, prayed the psalms with him, discussed affairs with him, listened to him as he shared his about the future, and given him advice. When he left home, she would have followed him, maybe sometimes physically and always emotionally, in his ministry. She would have worried about the risks he was taking in standing up to the scribes and Pharisees, and in wandering about Palestine, at with nowhere to lay his head. Her concern must have  increased as he came into open opposition with his enemies and was arrested. How she must have suffered as she followed him to Calvary and helplessly watched him die an excruciatingly  painful death. We rarely find representations of Mary with a 7-year old frisky boy, a 12- year questioning adolescent or a young vigorous  adult. This is a pity, for these  could help us to understand  better what it meant for Mary to be a
mother who worried about her son, did things with him and rejoiced when things went well for him. As Jesus increased 'in wisdom and in years' (Luke 2:52), so did she The theologian, Edward Schillebeeckx, had a very interesting comment to make concerning the effect of  Mary's motherhood on Jesus, and on the message he came to bring. What he points out,  we know from our own observation and experience, that the parent's features are often recognisable and  replicated in the child. Therefore, because Mary was Jesus' mother, his human qualities and character would have been formed and influenced by her. Consequently, when we read that Jesus went around doing good, and realise that this human goodness was God's love translated into human terms, we are bound to acknowledge that Mary had a maternal share in this Christian interpretation of God's love Above all,  it was Mary’s humility that has made her so attractive to us her children down the centuries. >>>>>>>>>