Mary would have lived a life typical of others in her region, in that she too had housework to do, food to prepare and clothes to mend. The difference is that Mary united all she did with God acknowledging His Awesome Majesty; she is a woman of quiet contemplation, who pondered all things in her heart.
Even in the midst of confusion and with great anxiety when she finally found her Son Jesus in the Temple, she questioned how her Son could bring this trouble to both her and Joseph. And though Jesus explained to her why He had done this, Mary simply pondered the meaning of her son’s words in the depths of her heart.
There must have been many times when Mary leaned on her chaste spouse Joseph, to help her and also lead her in their most Holy of Marriages. For upon their union it was to Joseph as head of the house that the Angels appeared and instructed him to flee and when it was safe to return to their homeland. This tells us the order in which God provides for us all to follow, in that the man IS the head of the household and God dignified Joseph's role as head of this most Holy family.
So it truly must have brought great grief to Mary when she lost her beloved spouse, who had helped protect and provide for her and their son Jesus. So upon the death of Joseph, Mary would have relied deeply on her beloved Son Jesus, for comfort but also for company.
So upon the commencement of his Ministry, Jesus also would have brought many new people into Mary's life, for she was not just a follower but was instrumental in Jesus' Completion of His Mission. Mary would have made all those who Jesus called friends a part of her growing family. This also afforded an opportunity for Mary to show other women how to live their lives in perfect conformity to the Will of God.
For Mary's role in the Ministry of her Son was not a passive one, but one of strength through prayer. She laid the ground work of what true contemplation is, and was an example to all those around her of quiet submission, humility and meekness, whilst living a daily round of her regular duties.
Mary would have helped develop Jesus as he grew strong under the reassuring presence of Joseph and both would have inculcated the young Jesus with a love of the land and the varying seasons from which they lived. Their lives would have been the lives of simple country folk, yet their Faith sets them apart from other families. This would have provided Jesus with a great asset of knowing how men lived and what moved their hearts, and was probably the instigator in his parables when teaching the Disciples and all those who followed him.
But before Jesus could commence his Ministry, he as most mature adults do, left home where he met his cousin John in order to be baptized in the Jordan River. After this Jesus left to spend 40 days and nights in the desert, where he overcame the tempter.
This must have been a difficult and perhaps lonely time for Mary, as she was without her husband or her son, but it also would have provided her an opportunity to pray and prepare herself for what lay ahead.
Their lives must have been so ordinary and normal in that when Jesus returned to Nazareth the words that greeted him were, "Where did this man get all this?" they said when he spoke in their synagogue. "Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary?" Jesus was to be rejected in the very place that formed his childhood, never to return. This must have grieved Mary deeply, as I am sure many of those who had rejected her Son, were a part of her life. She would have formed friendships with many of them, only to see them reject her beloved Son, and even family members accuse Jesus of instability.
One can also imagine what Mary would have felt upon hearing of the arrest of her cousins son, John the Baptist, as she pondered this and many more things in her heart. No longer was Mary at the centre of the young Jesus' life, nor was she abandoned as her life unfolded as her son's Ministry began.
Peace of Christ to you ALL
Copyright © 2005 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.