History has clearly shown that there is no greater vocation, no greater calling than to be a good mother. It all starts there. The cornerstone to all of man’s greatest accomplishments, the rise and fall of kings and kingdoms… all began with a mother.

It is important to remember that any woman can bear a child, but it takes an extraordinary woman to be a good mother.  Yes… there are bad mothers, just like there are bad fathers.  But those mothers who abandon, exploit or use their trusting children for their own selfish reasons are in the minority.  What bad mothers and good mothers both share… is the positive, loving impact they have on their own children and their future generations.

It is easily forgotten that the greatest human in Heaven is not a President, nor a Prime Minister, nor a CEO. It is not a person who had wealth, hereditary title or was celebrated in the Press as a business tycoon. The greatest human in Paradise is a simple woman whose only calling was to be a good mother.

She never physically conquered any nations, never led an army and she certainly didn’t sit on any board of directors. Although Mary is referenced only a handful of times within the New Testament, it is not what was written about her that sets her apart…. but it is what was not written. For there are many things, most important, which are never said… but rather understood… that pen to paper can never do justice with.

Mothers everywhere can relate to Mary’s challenges as a mother.  First, imagine the pressure, the shame, the confusion in telling your boyfriend or fiancé that you’re pregnant… it’s not his… and you did not sleep with anyone else.  The law called for her death…. by stoning.

My heart tells me this chapter of her life is often overlooked, and the significance of her anxiety downplayed… or not understood by so many.  Mary must have been a wreck.  Then after navigating through that difficult storm, as she approached 9 months pregnant, she travels for weeks on the back of a donkey, only to give birth in a dirty stable. After giving birth, she had to immediately flee across the desert, because her King and government passed a law that all boys under the age of two were to be killed. That event was known as the “Massacre of the Innocents.” She was homeless. Years later, only after that corrupt king died, did she begin her own journey home… where her own good mother, Anna, was waiting for her.

A vessel, pure…. innocent…. blessed by God…. to be worthy of conceiving God. Chosen amongst all women. Little did she know her tranquil life in her small village would never be the same. “A Sword shall pierce your heart.”

You will never find written how this young girl comforted a sick child…. Or who nestled the baby close to her own bosom to keep it warm… provide comfort… and soothe the child’s pain from the moment the first gas cramp occurred, the first tooth broke through the gums… or who simply needed his mother to reassure him from his dreams.

The scratched knees…. The animals in his pockets…. The filthy clothes from playing with his friends in the mud. Washing him behind the ears…. Cleaning his nails…. Desperately trying to get rid of the smell of fish that permeated his body. And the splinters… oh how many hundreds of splinters she would have to take out of his little hands from his efforts of trying to be like his father Joseph.

Every day Mary worried about her son. Every day she heard the talk of him in the village where she lived. For those who accepted Christ and his message…. She earned respect. For those who wanted to hurt Christ, she bore the wounds of disgrace, ostracizing, gossip, jealousy, and the scorn of her neighbors.

How many thousands of words… thousands of books it would take to write down all the moments and memories that she and her son shared.

Where Mary is mentioned in the Bible…. It is powerful. The Gospel of John specifically refers to Mary two times. Once at the Wedding at Cana…. “do whatever he asks you” and finally… at the foot of the Cross. The beginning of Christ’s work on earth… and the end. It is not coincidental.

It is often said, there is no greater pain that a person can experience than the pain of a parent burying their child. But there is an even greater pain… a pain that pierces the very heart and soul of a parent… to helplessly stand by and witness your child being tortured and killed in front of your very own eyes. How could man be so cruel?

And it was during this piercing of her heart… that Christ bestowed upon her the 2nd greatest gift she would ever receive…. The Great God Almighty, nailed to a Cross for the Redemption of Mankind, looked down and gave his mother to all of us. “When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.”

Mary would now once again conceive… and we became her children. And being the good mother she was to Christ, it is her mission, her new vocation… to be a good mother to you as well.

We too are to take Mary into our Household… to venerate her as the Mother of God… and our Heavenly Mother. And the same way she cared for her son Christ… she now cares for us. She is our adoptive mother.  If you ask any woman who has adopted children, they will be the first to tell you that they love their adopted children as their very own.

There is no difference in their love. It is real and complete.  So, it is with us.

From the moment Mary conceived the physical manifestation of God, in her womb, Mary became special… and worthy of Honor. There is a misconception among many that Catholic’s worship Mary. This is not true. We actually “Venerate” Mary. Veneration is the act of honoring a saint, a person who has been identified as having a high degree of sanctity or holiness. When we pray to her, we are having a soulful conversation with her, often asking her to intercede with her son, our Lord Jesus Christ, on our behalf.

It’s sort of like, “Hey Mary, I need a favor but I’m really not in a position to ask Christ, because I’ve done some pretty stupid things and I’m ashamed. So could you, as his mother, intercede and put in a good word for me?”

As the Queen of Heaven, you now have a mother who has the ear of the King of Heaven. Her only goal is to help you create your own direct relationship with our Lord. Like John the Baptist, she will decrease while your love and relationship with Christ increases.

I will conclude with words that Pope Benedict XVI said on 08/15/2005

“We have a mother in Heaven. And the Mother of God, the Mother of the Son of God, is our Mother. He himself has said so. He made her our Mother when he said to the disciple and to all of us: “Behold, your Mother!”. We have a Mother in Heaven. Heaven is open, Heaven has a heart. ”

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mothers across the World!

PS. My wife and I have personally been blessed with wonderful mothers, who are now wonderful great grandmothers.  My own children have been blessed with an extraordinary mother… who is now a proud grandmother… spoiling her grandchildren with love, chicken nuggets and chocolate milk.

Thank you all for what you do.

Good Mothers

Infant at 12 weeks Pregnancy
Infant at 12 weeks Pregnancy

Background Music “She Remembers” by Max Richter Copyright Watertower Music