Mary, our mother and model | Inquirer Opinion
High Blood

Mary, our mother and model

The first Saturday of the first month of the New Year was a day dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

After the morning Mass, on the way home, I recalled what Fr. Jerry Jankord, OMI, said to us women cursillistas at a seminar held at the Pius XII Catholic Center on UN Avenue decades ago: “For men, Christ is the model and Mary is the inspiration, while for women, Mary is the model and Christ is the inspiration.”

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After breakfast, I picked up the Bible and went over the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. I reviewed the events in Mary’s life and sought the virtues revealed therein which we women could emulate. Here are the results of my study and reflection—the events and, in my opinion, their corresponding virtues.

The Annunciation: “I am the Lord’s servant,” said Mary, “may it be done to me as you (the Archangel Gabriel) have said.” And the angel left her (Lk 1:23). This is acceptance of God’s will over ours, no matter how difficult or painful it may be. In hindsight and from experience, I have realized that, always, God knows best.

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Mary’s Canticle: Mary said, “My heart praises the Lord and my soul is glad because of God, my Savior” (Lk 1:45-47). Can we say more prayers of praise and thanksgiving than of petition?

The Birth of Jesus: When they were in Bethlehem, she gave birth to her firstborn son, wrapped him in clothes and laid him in a manger; there was no room for them to stay in the inn (Lk 2:6). Simplicity, poverty and humility are shown in this scene—qualities that are often shunned in the world, but pleasing to God.

The Presentation: Mary and Joseph took the child to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord as it is written in the law of Moses (Lk 2:22). They also went to offer a sacrifice of a pair of turtle doves as required by the law of Moses (Lk 2:24). Obedience to the law is evident here. As an example, do we pay our taxes honestly and promptly?

The Loss of the Child Jesus: …[H]is mother treasured all these things in her heart (Lk 2:51). Silence and reflection are needed in our day-to-day living. The path of our spiritual journey is necessarily from the mind to the heart.

The Wedding at Cana: When all the wine had been drunk, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They are out of wine” (Jn 8:3). The virtue is sensitiveness to the needs of others. She was not asked, but she saw the bridegroom’s predicament and quickly responded. Love anticipates.

Mary at the Foot of the Cross: Standing close to Jesus’ cross was his mother (Jn 8:25). What unspeakable anguish she must have endured. Yet she did not cower or stay away but stood erect, a figure of inner strength which stemmed from a deep reservoir of faith.

The Upper Room: The apostles gathered frequently to pray … and with Mary, the mother of Jesus (Acts 1:14). After Jesus’ death, she did not isolate herself but joined the apostles, providing them with comfort, inspiration and support. We likewise must be involved in community/Church affairs, especially this year which is the year of the parish as a community.

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From the Bible, we get a composite picture of Mary—Virgin, Queen, Mother, the quintessential Woman, whole and holy. The challenge is this: Are we able to incorporate her virtues in our life so that we can say, “Like mother, like child”?

With God’s grace, firm resolve and fervent hope, we can. And it would be a good beginning for 2017.

—————

Lourdes Syquia-Bautista, 92, is a retired professor of the University of Santo Tomas and a widow with 12 children, 27 grandchildren, and 21 great grandchildren.

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TAGS: Acts of the Apostles, Anunciation, Bible, Gospels, High Blood, Inquirer column, Jerry Jankord, Jesus Christ, Lourdes Syquia-Bautista, New Testament, scriptures, Virgin Mary, women cursillistas
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