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Opinion

A mother’s unique prerogative

AT RANDOM - Fr. Miguel A. Bernad, SJ -
Many years ago I was invited to an unusual birthday party. Unusual because the celebration was in New York while the birthday celebrant was in Manila, one of the American Jesuits (let us call him Tom). In the summer eight o’clock in the evening in New York was eight in the morning in Manila, so at eight precisely we were in telephone conversation with Tom in Manila. There were many at the birthday party and every single one (adults as well as children) spoke to the birthday celebrant. The men, aware of the cost of a long distance telephone call, spoke briefly, the women spoke long, heedless of cost. 

The last to speak was the mother. She said, "All of them can merely call you Tom or Father Tom. Only I can say to you, ‘My baby.’"

A mother has unique relationship with her child which cannot be duplicated by anybody.

That is the unique prerogative of the Virgin Mary with regard to her son, Jesus Christ. She alone of all human beings can call him "My Son."

As a Divine Person Jesus is the Son of the Eternal Father. As a human being, he is the son of Mary.

Catholics are often asked, "Why do you give special honor to Mary when she is only a woman like any other woman?" She is indeed an ordinary woman, but she is the Mother of the Redeemer and that puts her in a special relationship with him.

Theologians tell us that: she is not only the biological mother of Jesus. There is a theological dimension to her motherhood. Jesus is a real man but he is also the Divine Word incarnate. He is God-who-has-become-man. When God became man, he made everything human holy. The human body is holy because God assumed a human body. Walking and eating and sleeping and working are holy because God walked and ate and slept and worked. But God became man in Mary’s womb. It was in Mary’s womb that everything human was sanctified.

The entire universe (as Teilhard de Chardin reminds us) is holy, not only because God created it, but because, by becoming man, God became a part of the universe. And he became man in Mary’s womb. It was in Mary’s womb that the entire universe was blest.

The Fathers called Mary the Second Eve, because, like the first Eve, she is "the Mother of all the living."

In the Apostle’s Creed, we Christians proclaim our belief in "the resurrection of the body and life everlasting." That is a glorification that the Virgin Mary has already attained. That is what the Church celebrates tomorrow, the feast of the Assumption. It is only fitting that the Mother of the Redeemer should now be with her Son in the glory of life everlasting.

AMERICAN JESUITS

BUT GOD

DIVINE PERSON JESUS

DIVINE WORD

FATHER TOM

GOD

MARY

MOTHER OF THE REDEEMER

NEW YORK

VIRGIN MARY

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