Advent Reflections – December 17, 2015

Capable of Great Forgiveness: Mary in Scripture

While we don’t have any recorded Scripture passages of Mary saying “I forgive you,” we do have one scenario in particular that I believe she would have said those words.

Imagine, if you will, losing your child for a brief moment in a grocery store. For any parent, the panic sets in rather quickly. Your head starts swiveling, you eyes quickly scanning around you, trying not to appear too frantic as you urgently whisper-yell their name. Your cute bob of curls pokes his head out from behind the next aisle, holding up his favorite box of cereal – “Mommy! Let’s bring this home!”

Now take that situation, with it’s quick onrush of emotions, and lengthen it by 5 days. That is how long Mary and Joseph searched for Jesus. The Gospel of Luke tells us they looked for him 1 day among their relatives as they began their journey home from Jerusalem. When they couldn’t find him, they had to travel that full length back, day 2. Then, after 3 days scouring the city, they finally found him in the Temple.

Image by William Holman Hunt


Personally, I can only begin to imagine the panic, fear, frustration and desperation Mary and Joseph must have endured. Even if he was the Son of God and had his own explanation for his absence, I hope he still apologized for the grief he put his mother and father through. Mary’s example of motherly love is clear. She did not withhold her forgiveness from her son.

Is there anyone I have been withholding my forgiveness from? Pray for the courage to reach out you hand in peace and forgiveness, rather than in judgment and anger.

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