Advent Reflections – December 1, 2015

The Notion of Motherhood: Part 1

Mary’s role in Christ’s life, and in ours, is obvious. She is first and foremost a mother. If we are to imitate Mary, is must be from the perspective of her motherhood. Before we look at Mary as Mother, we should look at God as Mother.

No everyone, of course, is called or even capable of being a physical mother with physical children. However, we are all specifically and lovingly created in the image of God. Traditionally, we call God Father, as in the Bible and the prayer that Jesus himself gave us. However, to isolate God under the banner of one human notion of living would be inappropriate, since God is beyond our comprehension, understand and definition.

To balance out our visions and imaginations of God as Father, we should spend some time considering our perceptions of God, and specifically Jesus, as Mother. St. Julian of Norwich (ca. 1342 – ca. 1416) was an anchoress who received visions from Jesus. These visions or showings, were given to her over the course of a number of days in 1373. Julian speaks of “Jesus our Mother”, which, when you stop to think about it, makes a lot of sense. In Eucharist, we are fed from Christ’s own Body, just as babies we are fed at the breast of our own mother. Jesus our Mother gives over all of Himself, He suffers and even dies, so that we might have life. Now, our own mothers may not have died for us, though perhaps some have. They all did, most certainly, suffer so that we could be brought into the world – that we could have life.

Julian says

As truly as God is our Father, so truly is God our Mother, and he revealed that in everything, and especially in these sweet words where he says: I am he; that is to say: I am he, the power and goodness of fatherhood; I am he, the wisdom and grace of motherhood

If we are called to imitate Jesus, to be transformed into other Christs, then, according to Julian, we are to become mothers. Each and everyone of us has within us the capacity for spiritual motherhood.

What does your ideal mother look like? What qualities would she have? Can you see similar qualities in Jesus?

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