My Mother’s Voice

I would give most anything to hear my mother’s voice again. She died some years ago, but I can still hear her speak in my mind. There’s something about a mother’s voice that touches deep into the heart of a child. Nothing soothes more than a mother’s voice, and nothing can bring such terror. I could measure my situation by the tone and the volume of her voice. If the tone was right, it could make my heart leap for joy. If the tone was wrong, I got that burning sensation in my stomach.

Our Mother spoke and the babe leaped for joy in Elisabeth’s womb.That is the power of grace present in our Mother’s voice. So, our Mother speaks and we should listen. (Luke 1)

“All generations will call me blessed.” The Greek word for blessed is “makarion” (many saints were named Makarios). The word is sometimes translated as “happy”, but somehow that just doesn’t seem adequate. In classical Greek, the word “makar” was associated with the gods who lived beyond death and fate.The gods were the hoi Makarioi, the blessed ones. For Christianity, to be blessed is more than an emotional feeling or financial well-being. Blessedness is a sharing in the life of God, and that goes far beyond mere happiness. When we call her blessed, we affirm that our Mother has within herself the life of God.

“His mercy is to those who fear Him from generation to generation.” Since our Mother is “the champion Leader”, her children can also be named “markarios” because we can also share in the life of God. But listen carefully to her words because she links fear to gaining this mercy. This fear is not a sense of dread but of reverence. When I begin to see the beauty of holiness, I know that mercy is at the heart of that holiness, and it is a mercy that never ends.

“He scatters the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.” Sometimes, we question God’s mercy because we believe that our sin is too great to be forgiven. The demons and my thoughts gather in a battle array to convince me that my situation is hopeless. Despair becomes my spiritual food. It takes the strength of God’s arm to scatter these enemies, so that I can see that mercy is always greater than my sin.

“He filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he sent away empty.” Our Mother shows us that if we lack Christ, we possess nothing. Her Son will speak of this when he says “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst…” If I am rich, then I have no need of what Christ has to give. Yet, if I know my hunger, God will fill me with good things. The Jewish race fed on the Law and the teachings of the Prophets, and that was a rich banquet. This feeding should have made them hungry instead of satisfied. When Christ came, they had no need of him and rejected him, and so they went away empty. Our Mother wants us to know our hunger. Mother’s are always worried about what her children are eating.

“He helped his servant Israel.” God made promises to our Mother, but would God follow through and bring them to pass? Our Mother trusted God and submitted her life to his will. In the same way, God had made promises to our fathers and to Abraham. Now, in her, the promises were finding fulfillment. The Blessed Theophylact wrote: “Now He did help His servant Israel in the physical sense; for many of them, myriads, believed, and the promise of God to Abraham was fulfilled [Gen. 2218]…And in a spiritual sense, all who see God are Israel, for thus being interpreted does the name declare. The Lord helped those who see God, leading them up to their heavenly inheritance.” Our Mother trusted God and Christ was conceived in her, and the promise was fulfilled. She invites her children to trust God so that Christ can be conceived in us as well. If we trust God (faith), we become partakers in his divine nature (II Peter 1).

I hear my Mother’s voice. My heart leaps for joy when her words enter my ears. Happy and blessed are those who believe. Jesus said, “Have you not read the verse that says ‘you are gods?” If we hear and understand the voice of our Mother, then are the hoi Makarioi- the Blessed.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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