"Remember, I am with you always to the end of the age" (Mt 28:20)

Mary In The Eyes Of Joseph, Jesus and God the Father

here is an ancient formula that says “De Maria nunquam satis,” meaning “concerning Mary one can never say enough.” But this formula does not mean we stop from contemplating Mary. The more we get close to Mary we get closer to God. Let me propose three ways of looking at the Blessed Virgin Mary in the eyes of three persons who are closest to her heart.

First, we look at Mary in the eyes of Joseph her husband. If you were the husband of the Immaculate Conception, how would you look at yourself vis-à-vis Mary? Would you do like some men would usually do like when they get their dream wife, they would feel accomplished as if won the jackpot price. Worst is to think that they own the person and they could do whatever they want with their wife. I would like to believe, Joseph was different. He did not think he owned or possessed Mary. In the gospel of Matthew the Annunciation was to Joseph unlike in the Lukan version. When the angel appeared in the dream of Joseph who was deeply troubled by Mary’s mysterious pregnancy. Joseph did not want to “expose [Mary] to public disgrace,” so he decided to “dismiss her quietly” (Mt 1:19). Joseph at that point was not thinking he owned Mary and that he had all the rights to her. It was the angel who helped him resolve his grave dilemma: “Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Mt 1:20-21). In Pope Francis’s Apostolic Letter Patris Corde, he says “The greatness of Saint Joseph is that he was the spouse of Mary and the father of Jesus. In this way, he placed himself… ‘at the service of the entire plan of salvation’.”

Although, it was Joseph who was explicitly called by Matthew as a “just or righteous man,” I would like to believe that Joseph was first touched deeply by the righteousness of Mary the first time they met each other. Mary was exuding with purity and righteousness that any man would be touched so deeply. Because of the righteousness of Mary, Joseph was "unwilling to put her to shame.” Mary is indeed a paragon of courage and strength, with magnanimous spirit. It was Joseph who first witnessed this side of Mary. Joseph was the first of so many devotees across the centuries who flock to her in pilgrimage sites around the world to ask for various needs and support.

Second, we look at Mary in the eyes of Jesus her son. St Maximillian Kolbe OFM said, “Never be afraid of loving Mary too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.” Jesus loves her so much that his first miracle of turning water into wine came as a result of Mary’s request. The miracle was a shared miracle between mother and son. It was felt by a mother and expressed to Jesus through her who points out that the party had run out of wine, hence, the host needs all the help they could get. Jesus waited for thirty years to be able to perform his first ever miracle. This was supposed to be his moment. But it seems like Mary stole Jesus thunder during that public event. Did Jesus really think that way of his mother? Well, since Jesus loves his mother so much, the joy of Mary is also the greatest joy of her son. At the wedding Jesus was more than willing to share the praise with her. You can tell that Jesus was very willing to follow his mother’s request by the great-tasting wine. From the wedding at Cana and throughout the history of the Church that defined who Jesus Christ is, especially through the Ecumenical Councils, Mary’s role has been a crucial turning point always. Whenever a wrong understanding of Jesus arises, Mary is there. This is why the Church Fathers designated the Virgin as the “conqueror of all heresies.”

Third, we look at Mary in the eyes of God the Father. Most of us may have seen "The Passion of Christ" by Mel Gibson. When Jesus breathed his last on the cross, God the Father’s presence is portrayed by a drop of water that fell from the sky. It is the tear drop of the Father. But the Father did not feel that his Son was totally abandoned by Him. The father was there through Mary. Some of my retreatants when they come to this contemplation at the foot of the cross, they can picture the Father present there. In fact even the Father by virtue of his son is comforted by Mary.

A quote from the Second Vatican Council says “[Mary] is endowed with the high office and dignity of the Mother of the Son of God, and therefore she is also the beloved daughter of the Father and the temple of the Holy Spirit" (Lumen Gentium [LG] 53). This same quote was used by St John Paul II during his General Audience on 10 January 1996.

I would like to end with a quote from St John Paull II,
“Mary's privileged relationship with the Trinity therefore confers on her a dignity which far surpasses that of every other creature. The Council recalls this explicitly: because of this "gift of sublime grace" Mary "far surpasses all creatures" (LG 53). However, this most high dignity does not hinder Mary's solidarity with each of us. The Constitution Lumen gentium goes on to say: "But, being of the race of Adam, she is at the same time also united to all those who are to be saved" and she has been "redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son" (ibid.). Here we see the authentic meaning of Mary's privileges and of her extraordinary relationship with the Trinity: their purpose is to enable her to co-operate in the salvation of the human race. The immeasurable greatness of the Lord's Mother therefore remains a gift of God's love for all men. By proclaiming her "blessed" (Lk 1:48), generations praise the "great things" (Lk 1:49) the Almighty has done in her for humanity, "in remembrance of his mercy" (Lk 1:54).

 Fr JM Manzano SJ


  1. Thanks Fr. JM for sharing on looking at Our Lady with the eyes of St. Joseph, Jesus and God the Father, closest men in her life. I was looking to read something today...How about in the eyes of women? Blessed are you among women... from St.Elizabeth....In the gospel of St. Luke. .a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to Jesus, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” Affirming his mother by stating these words... for us who is Mary? Our ever caring and loving protectress and mother...We are blessed because she is blessed! Happy Feast day! Our dearest Lady and Mother, pray for us!

    1. Thanks a lot for your wonderful sharing of how women in the Bible look at Mary! GBU!


Post a Comment

Thank you for your interest in the above post. When you make a comment, I would personally read it first before it gets published with my response.