The way of Mary, Our Lady, Mother of God
Mary’s life was one of many journeys – often spiritual voyages. As a young girl she was called from the obscurity of a hidden village (Lk 1.48) to a role and future she could barely imagine but embraced wholeheartedly to be the mother of the Christ (Lk. 1.38)
Her first journey is one to bring comfort and support to another woman, something that would mark many of her travels (Lk. 1.39-45) She gave birth to Jesus far from home (Lk 2.6-7). So began an inner journey of pondering and questioning (Lk 2.18). Forced to flee by political intrigue she lived for some time as a refugee in Egypt (Mt 2.13)
Her life as a mother was turned upside down by the mission of her son. At times that pulled her into her wider family’s struggle to reclaim their wayward brother (Mk 3.31-33). She then came to the moment to set him free, which we see reflected at her request at the marriage feast at Cana to ‘do whatever he tells you.’ (Jn 2.5) Next we find her on the road once more, standing at the foot of Jesus’ cross as he dies (Jn. 19.25), and waiting in Jerusalem with his close followers for the coming of the Spirit. (Acts 1.14-15)
Her final journey is to become the adoptive mother of John and so of the budding Christian community. It is then likely that she found a home with John in Ephesus, where she was to act as an anchor between the human family of Jesus and the international Christian family. Her final voyage comes when she passes over to the embrace of her son (her assumption).
Like so many women of faith today, Mary’s life was marked by dramatic change, many journeys and a call to spiritual leadership in the community.
Mary of the Way, pray for us all.
More details about Mary and some activities to support Te Hīkoi Wairua mo Te Ara a Maria (artwork tour) can be downloaded here
Photo: Statute of Mary outside the Church of St Mary in Motuti.