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What's in a Name?

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C - 20th January 2019

You and your mother

There is a variety of ways of addressing the woman who plays the part of mother in society. Is she mum, mummy, mam, mammy or simply mother? In one distinct ethnic minority in these islands, almost all the children call their mothers by their first names. Most adults tend to address their mother in the same terms as in childhood days.

Jesus and his mother

Imagine John the evangelist only mentions Mary twice in his entire gospel and does not even have an Annunciation or a Bethlehem scene for her.

The mother of us all

On the only two occasions Jesus addresses himself to his mother, in John's gospel, he calls her "woman". Today in the Cana scene he says: "Woman, why turn to me? My hour has not yet come." She listened with her heart and knew that this was a time when a new relationship would begin. She is mother of all of us now, worried for us - a people whose hearts are as hard as the stones of the water jars. She will enrich those jars of stone as they are filled with wine at the word of Jesus.

Our mother on Calvary

The only other time John mentions Mary is on Calvary. Once more she is called "woman" - "Woman, this is your son; son, this is your mother. Why? Because he is giving her to us as our mother.

It is for us to find our own term of endearment for Mary, our mother. Fr. Eamon had his. May Mary, Gate of Heaven, welcome him among the saints he once know in this life.

Fr. Michael McCullagh C.M.


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