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Lessons on motherhood from Mary

Dinelle Hettiarachchi |  19 April 2017

The Catholic Church provides us with inspirational women all the time, but there’s one pretty amazing mother in particular that models motherhood perfectly. And she is Mary, mother of Jesus; a pivotal and inspirational female in the Catholic Church. So what can we actually learn about motherhood from Mary?  

1. Motherhood is about embarking on a whole new life

To become a mother, Mary had to give up everything she had known and had to enter into a new world. Mary could have very easily refused God’s request to be the mother of Christ, but she took it on. She knew that she would love Jesus, and knew that it was right. 

We can all think of times that mothers make sacrifices for their children. Maybe a weekend coffee session to take the children to sport. Or taking on a new job to pay for school fees and uniforms. 

2. Motherhood is about striking a balance between protection and freedom

In the biblical story where Jesus goes missing for three days (Luke 2:41-52), we can imagine how worried Mary would have been about her son. She spent three days searching for him and eventually found him in a Temple in Jerusalem speaking with the elders. At that age, a child like Jesus still needed the protection of his parents to survive in the world, and so Mary was determined to provide that protection. 

In the story of the wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11), Mary is seen encouraging Jesus to use the gifts that God has given him –freeing him to embark on his ministry. She understood that the wedding had run out of wine and she called Jesus to help out in the situation. She doesn’t stand back when something needed to be done. 

3. Motherhood is about letting go

Mary really highlights how hard motherhood can be. She saw her own son put to death. As a mother, Mary had to watch her own son go through horrific pain, unable to help him. Even trusting that Jesus’ death was part of God’s plan, it must have been so difficult. 

While most mothers, thankfully, won’t have to watch their children suffer so badly, they will have to learn to let go at different times in their children’s lives. For example, when their child starts learning to drive. Every mother knows that the roads are a dangerous place, but driving pretty much essential nowadays. A mother might not be all that keen on letting you drive by yourself at the night; however, she knows that having experience on the road is what's best for you.   

Similarly, each mother must strike a balance between protecting their child from the world, and encouraging them to find a place where they can use their gifts to enrich it.


Dinelle Hettiarachchi is a student at Avila College in Melbourne, and a member of our young writers community.


View the reflection questions and activities for ‘Lessons on motherhood from Mary’ here


Topic tags: women’sspirituality, saints, familylife

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