Our third Lenten guide
is Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
If we read the Gospel carefully–
and read between the lines–
one of the things that will surprise us about Mary
is that she had a hard time understanding her son.
We see this beginning with this story
of the Child Jesus getting lost in the temple:
The moment they found Jesus
sitting amidst the Temple elders,
partly out of relief, partly out of frustration,
she scolded him as any mother would:
“Why have you done this to us?”
It was probably not the last time
Mary posed that question
if not to Jesus, at least to herself.
It would take Mary a while
to come to terms with her son’s ways.
How Mary responded can be instructive to us
who are also often bewildered by the Lord’s ways:
Since neither she nor Joseph understood
Jesus’ explanation about “his Father’s business,”
what did she do?
She kept all these things in her heart:
her bewilderment, her uncertainties,
She didn’t whine or wail,
complaining about her difficult her son was.
Neither did she give up trying to understand him.
Rather, quietly, she pondered on all these things,
trying to make sense of his ways.
She had to learn how to keep discerning.
From that first visit of the angel Gabriel
inviting her to be the mother of Jesus,
Mary has always been a model of discernment.
Image from mormonsoprano.com