Saturday 9 February 2013

Jesus and Mary and the space for the Father

Very beautiful reflection on Jesus and Mary in Rossi de Gasperis' Sentieri di vita. It would seem that Mary is to be included among the relatives of Jesus who are perplexed at the way he is going about his ministry, and that there was, therefore, a moment of misunderstanding, or at least a failure to understand, between Jesus and Mary.

Jesus' ministry unfolds completely in the power of the Spirit and in obedience to his Father's will, revealed to him at his baptism. That is what he says already at the age of 12 to his mother: did you not know I would be about my Father's business? And the evangelist says: They did not understand the things he was saying. And then: Mary kept these things in her heart. 

But then: Mary herself has, from the beginning, walked in the Spirit and been obedient to the Father, even when she does not understand. Even before she conceived, between her and Jesus is the luminous cloud that is the Father. 

The moment of failure to understand is there; we need not deny it. But neither Jesus nor Mary rush to resolve it in a merely horizontal way. Both of them make habitual space in their hearts for the Father's will. And where did Jesus learn to do so, if not from his mother? In them both we find this great capacity to preserve, in silence, a space for the Father's will. And so we find them, on the cross and at the foot of the cross, together again. And even there, even after her entrustment to the disciple and of the disciple to her, she keeps her silence. 

Jesus and Mary, bound together in profound obedience to the Father's will, despite lack of understanding.

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