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St Mary – The Suffering Servant

There is no saint loved by Christians all around the world more than the Virgin Mary. Not only is she honoured as the Mother of God and the Ever Virgin, but she is a library of virtues for all believers. The mother of the Lord rightly prophesied when she proclaimed that all generations will call her blessed, a prophecy which still holds true two thousand years on. But the Virgin Mary did not live a life free from tribulations; on the contrary, her closeness to the Lord filled her life with turmoil. Mary indeed was the suffering servant. As the mother of God, she is the true queen indeed, but as the maidservant of the Lord, she lived a life far from royal pleasures.

As a three year old child, Mary was dedicated to the service of the temple where she spent her early years learning to serve the needs of others. She did not experience a fun-filled childhood in the arms of her parents like many kids her age, instead she lived as a foster child within the confines of the temple.

When Mary reached the age of twelve, she could no longer remain in the temple according to Jewish law, and for that reason was betrothed to the elder Joseph, a modest carpenter who would vow to provide for her. Mary became the caretaker of Joseph; ministering to his needs and caring for his household.

It did not take long for Joseph, Mary’s provider to turn away from her in shame upon finding her pregnant. The merciful Joseph, not being aware of the divine plan of salvation which would be carried out through the Virgin, had planned to put Mary away secretly without publically shaming her.

The young Mary could not even find refuge amongst her own people, for she was driven away from her home and country in the hope of sparing the life of her newborn Lord – for Herod was threatened by the Lord’s birth and had plotted to kill the Child.

Upon their return from Egypt, the Holy Family was not able to makSt Mary-Suffering Servant.jpge a home in Judea; rather they were to reside in the unlikely town of Nazareth, a place void of anything good.

Mary would continue this life of suffering even as she raised up the Lord Jesus, for she served the Lord who is the Servant of all in the world, and sacrificed for the Son who was sacrificed on behalf of the world.

Mary submissively accompanies her very own Son along the path to Golgotha, starting with the manger in Bethlehem and ending on the Cross. Along the way she would watch in silence as her Son was betrayed, mocked, smitten and nailed to the wood of the cross. And just as Christ’s flesh was pierced, a sword would pierce her own side.

Mary lived a life of suffering for the sake of the Lord her Son, and endured it all for the glory of God. Our mother Mary suffered with Christ, and in doing so, she became a model for us all, and ultimately, an icon of human perfection.

 

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