Why We Honor Mary

This Wednesday is the Feast of the Assumption of Mary where we honor our Mother being brought up into heaven. It’s a Holy Day of Obligation where just like Sunday we are required to go to mass. This post is serving as two things: 1) a reminder to go to mass sometime this Wednesday and 2) as an explanation for why we honor Mary in this way.

Why aren’t other saint’s feast days holy days of obligation? Why is it just Mary? Growing up  sometimes it felt like I was closer to Momma Mary that I was to Jesus. It was so much easier in my mind to relate to her and talk to her about everything and ask her for things. I didn’t even think this was weird until I went to a protestant summer camp and they couldn’t comprehend how I could have a relationship with Mary in the way that I did.

They had so many questions as to why I, “worshipped” Mary and I had no clue how to respond to these questions. I knew I didn’t worship her… I knew in my heart that there was a distinction but I never knew how to defend it. So, I started doing research and really starting to read my bible and the first thing I read was the Wedding Feast at Cana.

In the story of the wedding feast at Cana, Jesus and his disciples are all at a wedding with His mother. I like to think they were family friends (it humanizes him). Anyway, the family runs out of wine – something that could bring a lot of embarrassment and shame on the family. First off, what blows my mind the most is that the family hosting this party, out of all the guests, chose to go to Mary. Mary a widow who has no money and little to no material things to offer was chosen to speak to.Wedding-feast-at-Cana-icon

What does this say about her? The family wasn’t expecting anything from her but they went to her because they knew she would receive this news with the most love and there would not be an ounce of judgement as they spoke to her. They went to her because they had nowhere else to go and simply wanted a mother. As Fulton Sheen described, “She existed in the Divine Mind as an Eternal Thought before there were any mothers. She is the Mother of mothers—she is the world’s first love.”

People, seeking the heart of a loving mother sought her.

Then what happens next is even more extraordinary. Mary goes to Jesus and tells Him about the situation, knowing He can fix it – but He tooottalllyyy gives her sass. It’s one of His most human responses, ““O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” Like… ouch.

This is where Mary blows my mind. Jesus says it isn’t His time and yet she simply turns to the servants and says, “do whatever He tells you.” And then… JESUS FIXES THE PROBLEM. How crazy is that? And not only does He fix it – He makes the best possible wine there is.

What am I getting at here? Jesus listens to His mother because he has the utmost respect for her. Jesus will do whatever Mary asks Him. His first miracle was because she interceded for this couple who confided in her when they had nowhere else to turn. Mary is our sanctuary, our Mother. She will always love us and when we come to her she never receives us with judgmental arms or an, “I told you so” mindset. She is always welcoming us and bringing us back to her son.

At the Wedding Feast of Cana she isn’t the one to solve the couples problem… she lovingly brings them to the person who can.

That is who Mary is. That is why we honor her. It is to remember that, “as the mother knows the needs better than the babe, so the Blessed Mother understands our cries and worries and knows them better than we know ourselves.” – Fulten Sheen.

Mary will always brings us to her Son, and often times she is an easier person to approach when we feel shame or embarrassment or fear. That is why God gave her to us in the first place – He knows it is so much easier for us to approach a mother than a father.

So this Wednesday we honor her, knowing in our hearts that we are not worshipping her, but thanking her for her intercession and all the ways she has cared for us with her motherly heart.

For more books about Mary here are two I really recommend:
The World’s First Love – Fulton Sheen
33 Days of Morning Glory