“Mary the Mother” by David Emberson

Mary holds her baby, snuggles him close, and looks into his face, his eyes. As her heart wells up with love, she instinctively leans down and kisses her child.

The created kisses the creator. A sinful, impure human kisses the Holy.

Was he different than other children? Was he ever cranky? Did his mother have to change him? Did he cry despite attempts at soothing him? Did he stumble as he took his first steps?

Mary heard the prophecy from Simeon. Her child would be loved — or hated. Did Mary fear for her son? All mothers are protective of their children, but did Mary cringe when other children whispered about Jesus’ parentage, that he was an illegitimate child? Did she hold him when he felt rejected? Did she try to kiss pain away?

And then there was the incident when Jesus was 12 years old and the family went to Jerusalem for the Passover. On the way home, he was missing. Did Mary feel the tip of the sword in her soul? Three days of overwhelming anxiety, searching without success, fearing the worst. Finally they find him in the Temple talking with teachers. Mary blurts out an accusation to Jesus about being thoughtless of his parents. She acted from emotion, half out of her mind with fear. Was Mary responding from Simeon’s prophecy?

But what about the angels’ declaration that her son would reign from the throne of David? And young Jesus’ response about the Temple being “his Father’s house”. It may have struck a chord that Jesus reminded her who his real Father was. But, oh, the dangers that lurked ahead.

As Jesus’ ministry engaged, Mary felt pride in her son’s wisdom, awestruck at his miracles, puzzled at his attitude toward the religious leaders, and she became greatly concerned at the opposition against her son. All the while the voice of Simeon whispered in her ear, “a sword will pierce your very soul.”

And then it happened so quickly. In a matter of a few short hours Mary’s son was falsely arrested, endured illegal trials, was tortured and murdered on a cross! The sword was driven deep into her heart. She watched the whole event. The hours of agony her son endured were agony for her soul. Could the pain of her heart be any more devastating?

Then it was over. Jesus was dead. As he was taken down from the cross, did Mary run to him, cradle his head in her arms? As her heart wells up with the sorrow of love, she instinctively leans down and kisses her child.

The created kisses the creator. A sinful, impure human kisses the Holy. And a prophecy comes true.