Sacrificial love is the hallmark of a good mother, who doesn’t crave accolades at work but gold stars for her children at school. Who papers her refrigerator with stick-figure drawings and sticky notes proclaiming her family’s devotion.
But where does that pattern for good motherhood come from? In many Christian families, the simple, unassuming mother of Jesus is the answer.
As a teenager, Mary surrendered her own dreams and revealed the heart of selflessness with her words, “Let it be done to me according to thy word.”
Today, girls post selfies on social media to broadcast the smallest shred of news. But instead of running around sharing her secret with friends, Mary rushed to visit her pregnant cousin — and help with the birth.
Still, she wasn’t a greeting-card version of a mother — all flowers and glitter and sweet smiles. In fact, she reacted as any mother would when her son went missing for three whole days.
Anyone who has ever lost sight of a child for five minutes can imagine the terror that gripped her, as she and Joseph searched for him.
And when they found him, his mysterious reply about tending to his father’s business could have driven her over the edge — but like any good mother, she knew when to keep silent.
And so she tucked away her misgivings, her hurt and her confusion in a special place in her heart.
We last see Mother Mary in a scene that would be any mom’s nightmare — watching helplessly while her son, the one she carried in her womb, nursed at her breast and loved to the limit, dies an agonizing death from the worst torture imaginable.
In his final moments, he entrusted her to John’s care by saying, “Behold thy mother” — words also meant for us.
And on Mother’s Day especially, let’s be grateful for our heavenly mother, whose selfless surrender brought Jesus — the undying light of love — into our world.