A Pondering

The Passion of Mary
Text from YouTube

 I call this reflection

The Passion of Mary

The battle raging between good and evil began the moment the angel Lucifer praised himself over God and was cast from heaven. That began the trail of demons following Satan, who would not rest until the evil one proved his domination, taking down as many disciples as possible while aiming for God Himself.

When the Angel Gabriel announced the coming of the Messiah to Mary and she accepted the call, Lucifer was put on notice along with his minions. Satan’s attack and persecution on God incarnate didn’t just begin with Jesus’ agony in the garden, but immediately in Mary’s dwelling with her verbal “yes”.  Mary’s passion begins with the incarnation, the first instant that Jesus becomes flesh in her womb.  Although nothing to the level of the passion of Christ, our Savior, Mary, our mother suffered her own passion; a human mother of an exceptional Child, the target of Satan.

“Hail, Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with Thee,” greeted the Angel Gabriel.

Satan, the lord of lies, responds: Destroy the Mother and you destroy the Child. He must never set foot on the earth and his voice must never be heard. She will be stoned and that will be the end of them both. We will shout, “God is dead! God is dead!”

God cannot be entrapped. He had a very different plan for this young woman and her Child who would be the target of Satan’s vengeance and destruction. There was a very holy and honorable man named Joseph, who loved Mary and heeded the call of the Angel to take her quietly into his home. God had chosen a powerful spiritual warrior to stand guard over Mary and Jesus, beginning at her pregnancy; Joseph was that warrior. 

Satan:Turn hearts against her and her family. She’s pregnant and betrothed. Convince Joseph to reject her and turn her out into the streets. Inspire rumors and self-righteousness among her neighbors. They should rage against her adultery. Disgrace her parents and shame her. The righteous will stone her. Even her family and friends will be yelling, “Stone her; stone her.”

Mary leaves in haste to help her cousin Elizabeth with her own pregnancy and to possibly escape rumors and judgment leveled against her. This poor, young woman, pregnant with her first child was sent from her parents unexpectedly. Normal exhaustion from pregnancy is great even without a long trip at such a stressful time, but her love for her cousin and excitement over the birth of her own Child carry her forward.

Satan: Plague her thoughts with doubt on this trip. Intensify her discomfort on that tired donkey. What kind of God would burden a girl with such a life? The mother of the Messiah would not be treated so cruelly. This child must not be from the God of Abraham. She is nothing more than a little delusional girl, convincing herself that God would choose her as the mother of the Messiah. Crazy; she is crazy.

God knew the truth, and so did Elizabeth, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”

 And then without much chance for rest, Mary finds herself traveling again; this time to Bethlehem for the census. Add two long trips at such a stressful time, away from her parents, and her struggle only intensifies.

Satan: She is bigger now; make her pain intolerable; disrupt her sleep. She will despise this child and this man who makes her travel far from her parents yet again. Who does she think she is? Her pain and fear will let her know how human she is and that her God has forsaken her.

Mary and Joseph hold close and cooperate with God’s will for their lives and for the good of the world. Through the grace of God, Satan could not break Mary and Joseph, but others could be influenced.

Satan: They will be expecting a welcoming embrace at the end of this long journey, comfort from his family and loving women to help her birth this Child. Let them look forward to a warm hearth and good meal. Persuade Joseph to join the men at table and leave Mary with the dogs.

Fill Joseph’s family with shame for him and his adulterous wife. Let them hear whispers of loathing and thunder of a slammed door. She will not even receive a drop of water to quench her thirst from these people. Make them feel the pain of denial. Family is strong in these stiff-necked people. They need to know that they are rejected for their sins. Close every door in the city to them. They are nothing more than chattel; they deserve nothing. She will not want to be alive after this and for what faces her in the future.

A stable or cave may not have been the desired resting place Joseph had in mind for his young, expectant wife, but he would make it comfortable with God’s angels in attendance. Mary and Joseph are filled with the love of the Father, the Holy Spirit and His divine Son. There is no emptiness in their hearts and no need that is not filled.

Satan: Labor is near. Fill her with yearning for her own mother. Overwhelm her with feelings of loneliness and rejection. Have her cry out in pain with no consoling voice to comfort her. Coax her to doubt the decision she made for having said “yes” to God and convince her to never say “yes” again. She is a fool.

Even the heavens rejoice at the birth of the Baby Messiah. A star announces the Baby and curious travelers cautiously advanced to see what the star proclaims. Angels exult at the birth of their God.

Satan: Instill hatred and jealousy in the heart of King Herod. He will kill Jesus and all the other boys with him. No baby boy will escape his anger. Mary’s hasty decision will cause the death of hundreds of sweet little baby boys. Let the guilt of it destroy her. She is selfish and arrogant to save her one baby as hundreds of other mothers have their sons killed. Put that blood on her hands.

Mary and Joseph escape to Egypt after a warning from an Angel in another dream. Joseph, a strong man and spiritual warrior keeps Mary and Jesus safe again. The Holy Spirit leads them away from the wrath of Satan and the cruelty of man. The promptings of the Holy Spirit are heeded.

Satan: Egypt is no escape from my grasp. Mary will not leave with this baby unscathed. Fill her with fear and questions about Joseph’s decision to hide in Egypt. Divide them. Plant these nagging questions like weeds in Mary’s heart: “Joseph, can I return to Galilee to show my parents baby Jesus?” “How will you make a living with no tools of your trade?” “Will the women in Egypt accept me and Baby Jesus?” “How long will we need to hide” “Will they find us even in Egypt?” “How will my family know where I am?” “What happened to all those little babies in Bethlehem?” “Maybe we shouldn’t have run away.””Why are you doing this to us?”


Even in the face of human hardship, God fills them with peace beyond understanding. Mary remembers the Angel’s greeting, “Be not afraid.” 

They survive in Egypt with the grace of their Lord and the fatherly guidance and protection of Joseph, and then they move to Nazareth, to live safely after Herod is no longer a threat. Do Mary’s neighbors ever completely accept her? We do not question her faith and trust in God, but at what price? We know the power of God’s grace, but we also know man’s capacity for meanness. Is she comfortable sitting at the well with other women? Is she loved and accepted? Does she ever see her parents again? What human struggles does Satan heave upon this young mother? As against Job, do the evil one’s assaults continue, desiring to destroy the mother and her Son along with her?

When Jesus was twelve Mary and Joseph took Jesus to Jerusalem and unknowingly left Him on their return to Nazareth. Days later they found Him preaching in the temple.

Satan: Convince these two fools that they are terrible parents. Who would not check to see if they had their child before leaving Jerusalem? God would not have chosen these incompetents to raise the “Son of God”. Jesus is not the Messiah and they are inept at parenthood; fools! They will never find him because they are useless to God now. 

On finding Jesus, Mary asked, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety?”

Jesus answered, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know I must be in my Father’s house?”

Satan: Mary, you are a fool. Your son is ungrateful and impertinent! Feed her doubt and confusion; separate them; destroy them. God only uses you and Joseph. Your Lord takes advantage of you and now you are no use to Him. You mean nothing to Him; you are only a pawn in His hands.

In scripture, we are told that, “they did not understand what [Jesus] said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man.”

With perseverance and the love and grace and protection from God, ultimately, this holy family is victorious.

Let’s pray in the words of greeting of the Angel Gabriel and of John the Baptist’s mother Elizabeth . . .

Hail Mary, full of grace the Lord is with Thee.

Blessed are art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy, Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.


And from the last verse of the poem “Pure Love”

Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth,

Most blessed beyond all other,

Reveal to us the Holy Trinity,

The Spirit, the Son, the Father.

Peace be with you.