October is Mary’s month, and I’ve been reflecting on ways Mary impacts my relationship with Christ. It’s easy for me to think of Mary, and of all the saints, as mere role models. It’s easy to think of Jesus himself as an abstract ideal.
But Mary never treated Jesus as an abstraction. She always met him in her everyday life. From her joy in visiting her cousin Elizabeth to her confusion at finding him in the Temple, from her quiet authority at the wedding at Cana to her quiet acceptance at the foot of the cross, she always brought the concrete events of her life to Jesus and asked him to respond.
That is what real relationship looks like: bringing the real stuff of your life to someone else, and offering it to them; then accepting the real stuff of their life that they offer you in response.
Even after Jesus died, rose, and ascended to the Father, Mary continued to pray for particular people and particular situations. She appeared in Mexico to ask for a church on a hilltop. She appeared in Fatima to ask for rosaries and for the conversion of Russia. She calls us to real relationship, both with herself and with her son. Indeed, all the saints seek the same relationship.
How do you relate to Mary? How do you respond to what she offers you?