May – The Month of Our Lady

As we celebrate the month of May as the special Month of Our Lady, we take a look at Mary’s life. What might a balanced yet life-giving relationship with Mary look like for a Christian? The starting point has to be the Mary of the gospels. We first meet her as a teenaged girl in Nazareth, and she continues her growth to womanhood in circumstances that are at the same time very ordinary, yet quite extraordinary. We say of Jesus that he is “like us in all things except sin”. We can say the same of Mary. But apart from sin, Mary’s experience of her humanity was the same of any woman, and for most women it led her to motherhood. The gospel portrait of Mary endows her with a strong personality, one tested through much suffering and pain. Later, in Acts, she appears among the apostles who received the outpouring of The Spirit at Pentecost, and she remains the central figure in the early Christian community. Whatever images we have of Mary from other sources, we need to evaluate them in the light of the way she is presented in the New Testament.