“Behold Your Mother” (Jn 19:27)
“We must never forget, my very dear Sisters, that Mary, our august Queen and tender Mother, is for us the channel for all the graces of which her Son is the source. God in his wisdom and goodness has willed to bestow all his treasures through her. “ Adelaide de Cice,
The fourth quote on which the Society of the Daughters of the Heart of Mary is founded is taken from the gospel of John in which just prior to dying on the Cross, Jesus first says to Mary, “Woman, behold, your son” and then says to John “Behold your Mother.”
In giving Mary and John to each other as mother and son, Jesus is also declaring Mary as our mother, since in effect, by this action, Mary became the mother of us all, especially those who are disciples of Jesus. Mary, both as Jesus mother, and Jesus’ first disciple lived for Jesus and now lives for us who are Jesus’ brothers and sisters.
Pierre Joseph and Marie Adelaide chose both the quote and our name “Daughters of the Heart of Mary” to help remind us that Mary is our model of how to love Christ and humanity. Our founders also want our name and the quote to help us have a deep love and respect for Mary since he gave her to us as our mother. From the moment of the Annunciation, in which she said “yes”, Mary’s life was given over totally to her son and, with time, Jesus’s work. As daughters of Mary’s heart, we endeavor to follow her example in our daily lives in our thoughts, feelings, desires and actions. Jesus’ action giving John and Mary to each other was definitely an act of compassion for all involved. For all appearances, John was losing Jesus, his beloved friend, and Mary was losing her beloved Son; therefore, John received a mother in place of the lost friend and Mary obtained a new son.
This is the only recorded command Jesus ever made to Mary, and in which she responded by doing what he told her to do. Mary’s action in doing what Jesus told her, gives us a clear example of how we are to model ourselves like Mary, by listening to what Jesus tells us and acting accordingly. As Daughters of the Heart of Mary, we follow her example of both listening and being available for any service that the Lord asks of us. Mary’s action of taking John as her son, surely gave both Jesus and John a sense of being consoled and supported, and this is another example of how we need to model our actions like those of Mary when people are in need.
Mary is our model in following Jesus, especially as she shows us the way by living a simple life that is open to the Spirit on a daily basis. The church teaches that Mary is a channel through which Jesus can and does send his graces and these graces enable us to be channels of God’s love, and mercy towards others. As Daughters of the Heart of Mary, we believe that Mary is not only our model and a source of God’s grace, we also believe that she is with us in all actions and helps us to be open to whatever God is asking of us and enabling God to act in our lives.
Although this article is focusing on how we Daughters of the Heart of Mary are endeavoring to live our lives, much of what I have said can be applied to anyone who is seeking to be a disciple of Jesus. As the first disciple, one could not find a better model for being a follower of Jesus. I invite you to reflect on whoMary is to you in your life. Is Mary someone you envision as compassionate, loving, open and responsive to the action of God in her life? Are you as compassionate, loving and open to the promptings of the Spirit? Do you believe Mary could be a source God’s graces in your life? Linda DHM