Sunday, May 10, 2009



“Grandma, look what we brought you for Mother’s Day! You’re Daddy’s Mommy, right? But you’re my GRANDmother, so we’re doubling up on this gift.”

“Oh, thank you Jeffrey, and thank you Daddy, too. This is the most beautiful and biggest plant I ever received! How could you even carry it? It is so heavy and stands almost as high as my chest. It has 12 huge trumpet-like white flowers and sooooooo many buds.”

“Its name is ‘Sun Parasol White Mandevilla’—it says so on the little plastic sign stuck into the pot. It’s going to bloom and bloom and bloom. And it likes to climb. That’s why it comes with a wooden trellis. And it likes the sunshine. I’ll water it for you whenever I come to visit, but you have to water it too—but not too much, Daddy says.”

“I’ll take care of it very well, and I’ll think of you and Daddy when I enjoy it. Mother’s Day was always a fun day for me when your Daddy and his three brothers, your uncles, were growing up in our house. The children always figured out some surprise for me. Sometimes they brought me breakfast in bed and made Mother’s Day cards in school to give me. Sometimes they planted flower seeds in a milk carton and gave me the little plants for a gift.”

“Do you suppose Jesus celebrated Mother’s Day when he was a boy?”

“I wouldn’t be surprised. His mother Mary and foster father Joseph were Jewish, and so was Jesus, of course. They faithfully followed the Ten Commandments in their daily life and one of them was, ‘Honor your father and mother.’ Maybe they didn’t have a special day set for Mother’s Day back then, but Jesus would have been careful to honor his mother Mary all the time. We don’t know how old Jesus was when Joseph died, maybe already grown up, but we could imagine that Jesus took over his Dad’s carpentry and building business and took good care of his Mom just as she took care of him when he was little.”

“What does ‘honor’ mean?”

“To respect and admire and think highly of someone, or praise them for their good qualities. Or to treat someone in a special way. To be proud of someone. To esteem, have a good opinion of, brag about, appreciate someone.”

“I think I understand. Sort of like when you do something right or get a good grade in school you get an honor. People notice you or point you out and say you did a good job.”

“Well, that’s part of it. You honor your Mom and me too when you give me gifts or do things to please us, or spend time with us. Or tell us how much you love us. Or even when you ask us to do something for you. Mothers and grandmothers too like to do things for those we love.”

“Grandma, I noticed some pictures and statues of Jesus’ mother Mary at Church. I don’t think cameras were invented way back when Jesus lived, so how do they know what Mary looked like, or what Jesus looked like?”

“Those likenesses are just guesses, Jeffrey. They are paintings and sculptures from someone’s imagination, and they are simply to remind us of the real person. Christians honor Jesus’ mother Mary in the ways I explained to you because she was the one woman in the entire world especially chosen by God to be the mother of His Son Jesus. That was the biggest honor possible! God was Jesus’ father, not Joseph. God chose Joseph to be the husband of Mary and the foster father of Jesus to take good care of both of them while Jesus was growing up. It is written in the Bible that all generations will call Mary blessed because she is Jesus’ mother. Blessed means honored too.”

“So do we worship Mary like we worship God and Jesus?”

“You need to understand that we don’t worship Mary. She is a human being like you and me, not like God. She gave Jesus a human body through giving him birth. But He was still God—both God and human. I know that’s hard for you to understand, and really nobody understands it perfectly. We honor Mary. She is in Heaven with Jesus now and has a special honored place as His Mother. We can ask Mary to pray for us, to ask her son Jesus to hear our prayers.”

“Just like when Christians go to Heaven we can ask them to pray to Jesus for us? And when you go to Heaven I can ask you to pray to Jesus for me?”

“Well, yes, but Blessed Mary, the Mother of Jesus is in a special, much higher category than all the rest of the people in Heaven just because she was Jesus’ Mom.”

“How did Mary get to Heaven? Was she killed like they killed Jesus and then resurrected?”

“No, as far as we know, she lived a long, natural life after Jesus died and rose again and went to Heaven. When her time came to die, in some special way God took her to Heaven. The Church doesn’t call it a resurrection. They call it an assumption.”

“So I guess we’ll have to wait until we get to Heaven to find out how God did that, right? There are sure a lot of things I want to ask Jesus when I get there. I wonder if he will have DVDs of all the things that happened in history that I’m going to ask Him about.”

“Meanwhile, Jeffrey, remember that it is good to honor Jesus’ Mother Mary, and we can and should freely ask her to pray for us. She is like our Mother too, because she cares about each one of us. When Jesus was dying on the cross, the last thing He said was to tell His follower John to take care of His Mother just as if she was his own mother, and that’s the way we should think about Mary too. That’s one of our ways to honor her. Oh, I forgot to tell you. Our Catholic Church sets aside the entire month of May every year to honor Mary.”



1 comment:

BEEBEE said...

-Love these Conversations!
Keep up your good work for the Lord!
Barbara Brady