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On the Virgin Mary, a … matchmaking mama?

MOTHER OF MERCY
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The Mother of Mercy is always calling us back into the arms of Jesus.

In the years I’ve spent traveling the world preaching the Gospel, I’ve met more than a few mothers whose only question for me was, “Can I introduce you to my son?” They liked me, they loved him, so it seemed to them a perfect fit. Unfortunately, this attempt at matchmaking is usually followed by something like, “He hates the Church, but he’s such a nice boy,” leaving my ring finger conspicuously bare.

It’s a natural instinct, this desire a mother has to introduce a nice young woman to her son. I expect Mary did a lot of that 2,000 years ago. She wasn’t trying to find him a wife, of course. She just saw a soul in need of healing and brought it to the Divine Physician.

Perhaps she found Jairus weeping over his dying daughter and drew him gently toward the one who could raise her. Who knows but that Nathanael wasn’t standing under that fig tree because Mary told him he ought to meet her son? And we all know she spent some time in Cana telling people to do his will. As the Mother of Mercy, she’s always calling us back into the arms of Jesus, calling us to bring our brokenness before his grace and be healed.

As we approach the 45th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, this is how I see the Blessed Mother: a gentle, matchmaking mama with hope in her eyes, speaking softly to millions of men and women still aching over their lost children, whether they realize it or not. I imagine her approaching the mothers especially, many of whom who were coerced or lied to, many of whom saw no other choice, and saying, “I’d like to introduce you to my son. He’s loved you forever and I promise he’d be delighted to meet you again.”

I can see angry faces, guilty faces, forlorn faces—the faces of women who were sure that Jesus and his followers wanted nothing to do with them—turning toward her, their eyes filling with hope. She doesn’t tell them that Jesus is willing to ignore this terrible thing, she promises they’ll be made whole again. She presents her son not merely as physician but as bridegroom.

The love of Christ offers not just forgiveness but mercy, not just release from condemnation but a whole new life of grace. This is the only Christian response to sin: love, hope, and a promise of new life.

You may have turned your back on Jesus, may have been wandering far from him, may have had him in your sight but kept him at arm’s length. Let the Mother of Mercy lead you to her son. When the devil begins to lie to you, telling you that you don’t deserve his love, that you don’t belong among the holy ones, that the Church doesn’t want you, let the one who strikes at his head do her thing. You keep walking toward Jesus. When you get to him and you can’t raise your eyes to his face, feel her pushing you into his embrace. Hear her gentle whisper, “Tell him everything, love. He’ll heal it all.”

If you’ve already made that journey back to Christ (whatever sin it was pulled you away in the first place), spend this week surrounding the March for Life speaking and tweeting and protesting without condemnation or sarcasm. Instead, ask the Mother of Mercy to show you how to lead suffering souls back to her Son. There is no room for condemnation or triumphalism in the Pro-Life Movement, and if any creature can teach us that, it’s the woman who poured out her heart in love for those who killed her son.

Above all, this week let’s ask the Mother of Mercy to intercede for abortion-minded women, that their hearts would be filled with mercy for their little ones. May Mary, Mother of Mercy, intercede for us all, that we would become a people seeking and extending mercy. And may she continue to introduce us to her son.

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