By Deborah Kendrick
Forty years after my conversion to Christianity, I came into the Catholic Church. So many treasures awaited me. To my surprise, I began to look at Jesus through the eyes of Mary. She had been visited like no other person by the Holy Spirit Himself, and the Son of God was conceived in her. She walked alone with Jesus, carrying Him in her womb for nine months. The Holy Spirit filled her with wisdom, knowledge, and revelation about the One with whom she was entrusted.
She shrouded Him when He was born, hid Him as they fled His assassins to Egypt, and nourished Him with her milk and her love. She frantically searched for Him three days when He was 12 years old, only to find Him in the Temple astounding the learned. Knowing His time was not yet, she brought Him back to Nazareth and kept Him hidden until one day the wine ran out at a wedding. From that day on it is written that He “manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him” (John 2:11). From Palm Sunday to Passover, from the Via Dolorosa to Calvary, she was always with Him.
Dying on the cross, Jesus looked down at His mother standing there with John and said to her, “Behold your son” and to John, “Behold your Mother” (John 19:26-27). It is far deeper than a mother-son relationship. For John’s own mother was present, as it is recorded, “looking on from a distance … the mother of the sons of Zebedee” (Matthew 27:55-56). Jesus was saying to John, as He would have said to each of the disciples had they been there, “This is my mother. She walked alone with me and gave birth to me. She will walk with you in the days ahead. She is a gift to me, and I am giving her to you.”
From that terror darkness of Friday afternoon through the unknown of Saturday to the empty tomb on the first day of the week, Mary was there for them. As Jesus ascended to Heaven after 40 days, He told them to wait in Jerusalem for the fulfillment of the promise of the Holy Spirit.
Mary knew, as no one else could, that in a prepared heart, desiring the fullness of God, the Holy Spirit could conceive the presence of Jesus. About 120 souls waited with her in one spirit and with one purpose for those 10 long days. If any were inclined to wander, despair, or depart, she would prevail upon them to stay with her. She knew with certainty how glorious it was to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Church was birthed on the day of Pentecost, and Mary is the mother who brought them through. She is with us now, to take us to a new Pentecost for the New Evangelization, as we welcome the Holy Spirit to breathe on us.
Mary is the beautiful mother who loved her Son. Her desire is that not one drop of His Blood would be for naught, that all would be heirs of Her Son’s inheritance. Jesus’ desire is that we would know His Father. The Holy Spirit has been given to help us. “God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba, Father!’ (Galatians 4:6).
PRAYER: Blessed Holy Spirit, we welcome you. Breathe on us and on Your Church that we may be the fulfillment of Jesus’ desire that we would know Him and love Him. Renew us that we like Jesus may call, “Abba, Father.” Amen.
About the Author:
Deborah Kendrick came into the Catholic Church in 2011 through her interaction with Catholics in ecumenical meetings throughout Europe, where she was a conference speaker and retreat leader for 20 years. During her testimony, she says, “The French Catholics just loved me into the Church.” She was first ignited for the Lord at the beginning of the outpouring of the Charismatic Renewal. With her husband William, a fine artist, and their five children, they traveled extensively, living in France, England, and Israel. Deborah’s heart is to see people know and receive the love God has for them, which encompasses a new Pentecost for the New Evangelization. “God is calling us closer in this hour. Open hearts bring an open Heaven.”