In the the Gospel of John, Mary Magdalene is the first to witness the risen Jesus. She comes very early to Jesus’ tomb and cries. Let us think for a moment about Mary’s tears. This woman is very distressed. She lets her tears flow; she does not stop herself from expressing her suffering. And Jesus appears to her. She will recognize Him only when she hears her name. She turns around, experiences a real change of heart, and sees her Savior, whom she could not recognize just before that.
Then Jesus asks her to announce His Resurrection to the others, who do not yet know what has happened, “Go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” And Mary spreads the Good News.
This woman is given the task of bringing hope where there is none and bringing light into the night in which the disciples have been steeped for three days. As women, we are also called to be witnesses of Jesus’ Resurrection and to announce it. The first ones to be affected are our families, especially our children.
How many children recall the way in which their mothers spoke of Jesus with tenderness and simplicity? These are moments that have helped the faith of many people. Father Marcel Jousse remembers that his mother, who was illiterate, sang Bible passages while rocking him. He was soothed by the Word of God while being rocked.
Let us sing, pray, and speak the Word to our children, even when they are newborns; may we not hesitate to announce the Good News to them with the simplicity of a mother who speaks and sings to her child.
Certain mothers also like to meet in a prayer group for mothers, which meets once a week, to pray for their children and support each other. The founder of this movement, which is now international, had started with this word, “Pray for your children.” And what miracles have occurred as a result of prayer coming from the hearts of mothers!
God, who also has this heart of mercy, hears us. Let us dare to pray together for our children. This initiative is a source of blessings and helps us recall that God is in charge of everything and that our children are, above all, His children.
The mother also has an important role to play in words of blessing that are pronounced over her children. All during their growth, we can bless our children and tell them again that they are loved by God. The word “benediction” comes from the Latin benedicere, which means “to say good things.” We are called to say good things about our child. Let us be attentive to what comes out of our mouths, “Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips” (Ps. 141:3). May we know how to ask for forgiveness and bless each other.
Let us recall Mary, the Mother of Jesus, who carried the Word in her. The woman is the bearer and guardian of the Word, like Mary. Because of her welcoming and giving nature, she is able to give God to children.
It is possible that some women sometimes find it difficult to become mothers or to be women. Not everything is innate, and this strongly depends on what each one has gone through. Mary cries. And Jesus is not insensitive to our pains. On the contrary, He takes them on Himself. We can relive these moments by ourselves, on a retreat, or with a spiritual companion who allows us to see how the Holy Spirit is acting in our lives and helps us to get closer to Jesus and go step by step on the path of His Word. Let us ask the Lord to be able to experience our femininity as a gift from Him and to receive from Him this motherhood, which is the herald of life and hope.
A Concluding Prayer
Lord Jesus, You who showed Yourself to Mary Magdalene in front of the tomb, called her by her first name, and entrusted her to announce the Good News of the Resurrection to the disciples, help me to announce the Word to my children lovingly and tenderly. Inspire me with prayers and words of blessing and lullabies that speak of You. Work in my children and help them to persevere in prayer. Heal that which is scarred and wounded in me, and may I be able, like Mary, Your Mother, to feel the joy of the Resurrection. May I be aware of the beauty of my vocation as a woman, a wife, and a mother.
This article is an excerpt from Nine Months with God and Your Baby. It is available from Sophia Institute Press.
image: SkroZoC / CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons