|Fillippo Lippi ~ Edge of Mary's Mantle|
"Save the best til last," the saying goes. And in the Genesis account woman was the last piece of God's creation. Then we marvel at the courage of the faithful women who followed Jesus from Galilee and his own mother on this day of his dying.
But what has happened to women? They seem to be losing all sense of their own dignity and worth. Failed women are our nightly entertainment. The hunted woman, the spurned woman, the maniacal woman, the aggressive seductress. Showing everything, women have lost their mystery. Celebrity women in and out of jails and rehabs have their children taken away. Posing media toys set up for manipulation, the weather lady sensualized, women have become cartoons and objects of ridicule and scorn.
But woman is the same creature as Mary, who trembles before the Archangel, who cultivates strength and speaks the word that brings Life into the world, who stands in solidarity with suffering humanity. Indeed, Mary's only degradation is that she is determined to stand by her crucified Son who dies a slave, a criminal outsider.
Mother! Call her with a loud voice. She is listening to you; she sees you in danger, perhaps, and she - your holy mother Mary - offers you, along with the grace of her son, the refuge of her arms, the tenderness of her embrace...and you will find yourself with added strength for the new battle." Benedict XVI