Thursday, October 15, 2020

Behold, Your Mother

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“Jesus and I love you even more.”

A curious series of events happened to me back in 1996. It started out simple enough, but quickly changed the direction of my life.

Let’s see. I was in my first year of engineering studies at the UofR. I had connected with CCO,was delving more into my faith, and went through a couple bible studies with them. I formed some new friendships. Then a good friend (who is now the godmother of one of my kids) invited me to attend a Live-In Retreat over a weekend. So I did.

Now, growing up I had always been able to see God as a loving Father. I didn’t have an issue with him at all. That said, I could easily have been mistaken for a Jewish Jedi: I didn’t have a connection with Jesus, and I viewed the Holy Spirit as something more like the Force – present, but very impersonal. And I didn’t realize it consciously, but I pretty much considered myself untrustworthy, and therefore deeply unlovable.

Over the course of that weekend I came to realize that my new friends did care about, even – gasp! – loved me. And in that moment, God gave me an unmistakable message: “Jesus and I love you even more.” It floored me. Suddenly I knew that not only was I lovable, I was intensely loved. It came with an invitation to love him back. How could I say no?

That was huge. That moment has shaped my life. But it didn’t end there.

One of the first things that shifted was my relationship with Jesus. The message was clear. “Jesus and I.” The Father wanted me to know his Son. In this most profound experience of my life, he wanted me to know his Son.

One of the next things flowed from this new relationship with Jesus. Out of the blue, a desire arose to know more about Mary and the Rosary. Just as the Father had introduced me to his Son, now Jesus wanted to introduce me to his mother. I bought a rosary, a little book to guide me, and began. And I quickly came to love my new mother, and to realize her tender love for me. As I prayed, she led me closer to her Son, who again drew me to his Father. It’s like poetry. They rhyme.

Now what about the Holy Spirit, you may say? Oh, He’s a whole ‘nother story…

Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
  – John 19:27

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