Monday, September 26, 2005

Mary Her Daily Life and Prayer

Mary's life would have been much like anyone else’s, in that she did not draw attention to herself, but simply got on with the job at hand. It would have been Mary and the women friends of Jesus who at times may have travelled ahead of Jesus and the disciples in order to provide a resting place for the tired men.

This meant a great deal of preparation; perhaps they also would have had a mule in order to carry some of their supplies. It meant a daily round of duties from sun rise to sun set, as they prepared meals, mended clothes and prepared a place of rest for her weary son and his disciples.

And upon reaching the place where they would spend the next few days Mary and the women most probably spent time at the nearest markets to buy such food as lentils, wheat, dates, olives, grapes, pomegranate's, onions etc as well as chickens, eggs, goats milk.

They then would have returned to make local unleavened bread by slapping the dough against a circular oven, in which they would then place the onions, lentils, pieces of meat perhaps with some goat cheese. Along with this after the main meal maybe some dates, almonds, honey, or watermelon would also have been served. Whatever was grown in season at that time.

The difference with Mary is that despite this workload, which was heavy indeed, in that there were no convenience as we enjoy today, Mary would have done all this without one single complaint, in that she had learnt to turn everything she did into a prayer. This provided a marvellous example to the women, whom journeyed with her and also the men in her spirit of gentleness, serenity and tranquillity. For like most things there would have been things that did not go right, days where accidents happened, all of this left Mary unflustered, as she simply took all these things the good and the bad equally from a Loving God.

Through all this activity and work Mary ennobles the most mundane tasks, and grants it the respect it deserves in that, everything we do must be done in a spirit of love and service to others, for that is the way Mary shows us.

Upon finishing the meals the women would have joined together in communal washing up. And I am sure with gentle humour and an equally gentle spirit, the women would have enjoyed this moment shared with Mary as they each worked uncomplaining in an environment of love and companionship.

After the evening meal and clean up was completed Mary and the rest of Jesus friends would have gathered around her son to listen to his stories, to learn from him, but also to enjoy moments of pleasant humour, before they retired for the night to pray to their Heavenly Father.

For both Mary and Jesus, lived lives of deep prayer, of a relationship with the Heavenly Father which went beyond the mere rituals of the Pharisees. And it is their example combined, which would be a great lesson for both disciples and female companions to emulate in their own lives.

But I am sure even in prayer, Mary's heart was not without its worries as she pondered in her heart the meaning of these precious words from her son and the prophecy of Simeon.

Peace of Christ to you ALL

Copyright © 2005 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Mary The Heart of A Mother

The life of Mary provides for us all the opportunity to understand women’s role within the family and community. For Mary had a Mothers heart and a Mothers love not just for her Son but also for his friends and followers.

It is through Mary's example that many of the women followers would have tried to emulate. They would have witnessed first hand how Mary incorporated prayer into every activity and that nothing was too small or too big for Mary who did all things with the utmost meekness and humility.

I am sure that Martha upon observing Mary and her motherly heart which was always available to any of her Sons friends, and the way she conducted her many chores and duties into a service of love based upon a combination of prayer and activity.

For Mary understood from the beginning that in all we do and in every activity we must remember to whom we serve and that is our Heavenly Father. Mary knew that true love is a life of service for the benefit of others and not oneself.

Though Mary had an exalted position as the Mother of Jesus, she never drew attention away from her son, but instead mediated between Jesus and his many friends, as she did at the wedding of Cana. This would have provided a wonderful example to the many women who followed Jesus in what is pleasing to our Heavenly Father, a life of service and meekness.

Even though there would have been moments of great discomfort, days of heat and dusty weather. This may have seemed never ending in a cycle of traveling between towns whilst following Jesus and his disciples. Mary was not one to complain, she simply did what needed to be done in a spirit of humble service irrespective of her own tiredness, for Mary placed others before herself.

Mary would also have provided a Mothers heart for the disciples to confide in and also to learn from, she would have provided not only physical comforts but also emotional comfort. For their must have been many times when the disciples were confused by the teachings of their teacher, Jesus, as he taught them that one had to become like little children to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

For whilst the Jews were under terrible persecutions, many had expected the Promised Messiah to rain thunderbolts upon their Persecutors the Roman occupiers! So to many of the disciples what Jesus was teaching them would have been a shock to all their preconceived idea's.

Mary would have understood this confusion and I am sure in her gentle and motherly way she would have provided much needed wisdom to the disciples who were struggling with their inner conflicts and their doubts.

So even in the day of Jesus Ministry Mary’s role of Mediator was already begun, it began upon her Fiat. This would give Mary much to ponder on as she joined her Son in his Mission to save all man from the sting of death. For Mary was to become Mother of all for Eternity, but for now, Mary listened and encouraged her Sons disciples and followers to live lives of service and of deep prayer, as their journey continued.

Peace of Christ to you ALL
Copyright © 2005 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Heart of Mary

There must have been many times whilst her beloved son was embarking on his mission that Mary would have reflected on times gone past, when fond memories of their former home life would have intruded. As Mary lingered over her memories of summer evenings spent with Joseph and the young Jesus as they perhaps sat on their front step, singing songs of praise to God on High, praying and sharing their day’s events. These would have been precious moments for Mary, stored in her heart of hearts to be remembered with joy, and a touch of bitter sweetness.

These were times when Mary had her son all to herself, these were poignant reminisces and Mary treasured each moment. But for now Mary had to share her beloved son with the world as he strode forward to fulfil God's Salvific plan.

And even though Mary would have shared these beginnings of Jesus life with the Apostles and friends of Jesus, still there must have been moments that were her's alone to remember and rejoice over.

For over and above all, Mary's heart was that of a mother deeply devoted to her son, and also to those who travelled with him. Her spirit of hospitality would have touched all and embraced many, and her welcoming and gentle smile must have soothed many a sore body and feet as they travelled from place to place.

But there was more to Mary than just a sweet smile, for Mary was also a woman of substance and endurance, who never complained even through trials such as their journey to Bethlehem when Mary was heavy with child and their escape into Egypt. All these things brought no complaints, no anger or discouragement for running through the course of Mary's life was her deep and abiding love for God. All those who joined Jesus would have noted Mary's enduring silence when it came to any personal discomforts. The way Mary cared not only for her son but also his friends and followers, all would have found a place in Mary's heart, for Mary had become mother of all.

What would have shone through to all who joined Jesus was Mary's motherly tenderness not only towards her son but also towards his friends. With her gentleness and wisdom, her spirit of hospitality and her need for moments of solitary prayer, these were moments that many would have noted and also emulated.

I am sure that Mary would have had her own thoughts towards the individual Apostles, as in recognising Peter’s exuberant nature, his spontaneous gestures of courage mixed with insecurity. The gentle and thoughtful John, who was so close to her beloved Jesus, and provided much support for him and for herself, the questioning Thomas, who could never quite accept the Glory that stood before him, as Mary did without question, for she knew who Jesus IS! And the many others who walked with Jesus, Mary too would have taken them all into her motherly heart of hearts.

What tenderness she would have showered on Mary Magdalene, helping her to understand the depths of Jesus Merciful love. What an example Mary would have provided for all the women who had to prepare meeting places and meals towards the men folk, after their long and arduous journeys.

But Mary was also a woman of deep introspection and humility, and though she welcomed all of Jesus Apostles and friends, still she too would have heard the whispers gathering force against her son, even from one amidst them. This would have deeply concerned Mary for at the heart of Mary lay a mothers love for her beloved Son.

Peace of Christ to you ALL.

Copyright © 2005 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

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