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Woman Behold Your Son

Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church

My dear encountered couples:

Standing beside her was his beloved disciple, John. In his last moments, Jesus called to her and said, “Woman, behold your son.” Then he called to John and said, “Behold, your mother!” It was his final act of devotion, to entrust the care of his mother to his closest friend John, to us … the Church! Sure enough, she went with him to Ephesus, where she lived a long life and served as a model of faith and devotion to Jesus in the development of the early church. From then on she became the MOTHER of the Church … our MOTHER!

My favorite theologian, Erma Bombeck, once wrote: “While the Good Lord was creating mothers, he was into his sixth day of overtime when the angel appeared and said, ‘You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.’ The Lord said, ‘Have you read the specs on this order? She has to be completely washable, but not plastic, have 180 movable parts – all replaceable – run on black coffee and leftovers, have a lap that disappears when she stands up, have kisses that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair and have six pairs of hands.’ The angel shook her head slowly and said, ‘Six pairs of hands … not possible.’

‘It’s not the hands that are causing my problems,’ said the Lord. ‘It’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have.’ ‘That’s on the standard model?’ asked the angel. The Lord nodded. ‘One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, “What are you kids doing in there?” when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn’t, but what she has to know; and, of course, the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and reflect, “I understand, and I love you,” without so much as uttering a word.’

‘Lord,’ said the angel, touching his sleeve gently, ‘come to bed, perhaps tomorrow …’ ‘I can’t,’ said the Lord, ‘I’m so close to creating something like myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick, can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger and can get a nine-year-old to stand under a shower.’

The angel circled the model of The Mother very slowly. ‘It’s too soft,’ she sighed. ‘But tough!’ said the Lord excitedly. ‘You cannot imagine what this Mother can do or endure.’ ‘Can it think?’ asked the angel. ‘Not only think, it can reason and compromise,’ said the Creator. Finally, the angel bent over and ran her fingers across the cheek. ‘There’s a leak,’ she said. ‘I told you that you were trying to put too much into this model. You can’t ignore the stress factor.’

The Lord moved in for a closer look and gently lifted the drop of moisture to his finger where it glistened and sparkled in the light. ‘It’s not a leak,’ he said, ‘It’s a tear.’

‘A tear?’ asked the angel. ‘What’s it for?’ ‘It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, compassion, pain, loneliness and pride,’ the Lord replied. ‘You’re a genius,’ said the angel. The Lord looked somber and whispered. ‘But I didn’t put it there.'”

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