God the Father
From the beginning, God the Father entrusted his Son to Mary.
“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, you who enjoy God’s favour! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Look! You are to conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High.'” (Lk 1:26-32, NJB)
When he was twelve years old, well after the age of reason began for him, Jesus confirmed the entrustment by continuing to live in obedience to Mary and Joseph.
“He went down with them then and came to Nazareth and lived under their authority. His mother stored up all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom, in stature, and in favour with God and with people.” (Lk 2:51-52, NJB)
As part of his last will and testament, Jesus also entrusted his disciples to her.
“Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, this is your son.’ Then to the disciple he said, ‘This is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.” (Jn 19:25-27, NJB)
In the gospel, when Jesus speaks to or about someone, he is not necessarily speaking to or about that person alone. Oftentimes he is addressing or referring to all his followers. For example, at the Last Supper, when he broke the bread and said, “Take and eat; this is my body” (Mt 26:26, NIV), he was not giving the instruction only to the twelve apostles gathered together in the upper room. When he commanded, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mt 22:39, NIV), by “neighbor” he meant much more than the person living next door.
In the pronouncement, “Woman, this is your son”, “this” beloved disciple represented all whom Mary would be invited to look after as son or daughter. Similarly, “This is your mother,” was an injunction for all to take Mary as mother.
How do we go about taking Mary as our mother?
The following passage suggests the way.
“Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, ‘Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.’
‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ he asked.
Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.’” (Mk 3:31–35, NIV)
That is, we become Jesus’ brothers and sisters by carrying out the will of God. And with Jesus as brother, his Mother is our mother too.
Entrustment to Mary was not an invention by some pious and sentimental soul. It was commanded by Jesus. He chose the most dramatic moment before his death on the cross to proclaim this integral part of God’s plan. He wanted all to come to Mary as her children.
“This is your mother.” What did the disciple do when he heard Jesus say this? “And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.” (Jn 19:27, NJB) If you hear Jesus saying to you today, “This is your mother,” we hope that you, too, like a true and beloved disciple, will, from that hour, welcome her into your own home, and into your own heart.
Love her, cherish her, honour her, and turn to her for guidance and protection.
Act of Consecration to Mary
Mother Mary, since Jesus from the cross gave you to me, I take you as my mother. And since Jesus gave me to you, please take me as your child. All that I am and have and do, I entrust entirely to your care.
I make this act of consecration with full knowledge and understanding that it entails commitment to a way of life, a way of life like that of Jesus at Nazareth, a way of life which he exemplifies in the gospel. It is when your children become firmly dedicated to this life, it is when enough of your sons and daughters respond wholeheartedly to God’s will, it is when they listen to the Lord and do what he says, it is then that your Immaculate Heart will triumph, and an era of peace will begin to reign throughout creation.
Dearest Mother, you have looked after Jesus from the instant of his conception to the hour of his death. Under your care and guidance, he advanced in wisdom, in stature and in favour with God. I humbly ask you to similarly guide and look after me, my family and loved ones, and all your people. In complete faith and trust, I solemnly consecrate myself and all of us to your Holy and Immaculate Heart.
In this work, the initials RSV indicate that the Scripture quotations are from the REVISED STANDARD VERSION BIBLE, Second Catholic Edition, copyright © 2006, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Any passage designated NJB is an excerpt from THE NEW JERUSALEM BIBLE, copyright © 1998 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd. and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. Reprinted by permission.
Texts followed by the letters NIV are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
In this work, Scripture texts marked NAB are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970, by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.