Holy Mother Church has long presented the most glorious aspects of the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God assumed soul and body into heaven, sometimes doing this also in reaction to attacks on her Divine Son. While none of these interventions which provide magisterial teaching on Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition make Mary out to be unapproachable even though she is that woman clothed with the sun, with the stars about her and the moon under her feet, it is easy to get that unapproachable impression if we don’t collectively start also to note how these very things make her approachable, that is, even while paying attention to those things people have found somewhat uncomfortable to notice. Thus:
Let’s call to mind the whole “Mary is only the mother of Jesus and she had no other kids” drama, you know, with all the arguments that “the brothers and sisters of Jesus” are really just “cousins” because the language at the time had no word for “cousins” and simply used “brothers and sisters” blah blah blah. That’s all correct, but, I think, misguided. Yes, Mary was the birth mother of Jesus alone, and there are those who are verifiably the cousins of Jesus mentioned in the Scriptures. But remember the time Jesus was rejected in His own native place, and especially that time “the brothers and sisters of Jesus” dragged Mary to where He was so that they could prove to her that He was demon possessed because He didn’t have time even to eat in that He was so good and kind?
Cousins don’t act like that. Only those who are insecure and think they have to prove something to gain their feeling of security do that kind of thing. What I think is going on here is that when the Holy Family returned from Egypt, now speaking Arabic and most likely marginalized with their house having been stolen while they were gone, have their plight noticed by the street kids who were for whatever reason also marginalized. Those kids instantaneously gravitated to and were adopted into the Holy Family en masse when they saw just one brought in, fed and cared for. Jesus wasn’t a brat. Jesus was the only child. They were envious of Him. They had to prove something, they thought, to Mary to protect their own position in the household.
In all of this, did Mary throw them out? No. Was she always available for all waifs who were dying of neglect on the streets? Yes. For her, were they like bright flowers given to her by her Son? Yes. Did they realize how much she loved them? No. Did that stop her from loving them? No. We are so very secure in the Holy Family and we don’t even know it. Typical us. Heaven will be different. Good thing our fallen human feelings don’t dictate actual reality. Our perceptions aren’t always correct. We are loved even if we don’t feel like it. Heaven will be different.
Happy Divine Mercy Sunday. More on mercy later.