There are twenty one in my friend Joe’s family, he has twenty brothers and sisters. It is very difficult to keep tabs on them to know where they all are at any time. When he comes home to his dear Mam and asks her where is Eileen today she will know where she is or where she has gone. When he comes and asks where Declan is, she also will know of his whereabouts. In fact he can come to his Mam and ask her about any member of his twenty brothers and sisters and he says she will know. She will know because she loves and cares for each one of them and is concerned about each one of them.

His mother does not see her twenty one children as a number or a group, but sees twenty one individual people with their own pain, struggles, joys and hopes. His mother deeply appreciates how precious each one of them is.

In the very same way, with even deeper love, Mary our beautiful Mother, sees each one of us as precious individuals, not just a family or one in a committee or organisation. She sees each one of us as one of her children. She knows each one of us by name and takes us into the warm embrace of her motherly love. She holds each one of us in her tender loving arms and draws each one of us close to her very special maternal heart. As we rest in the gentleness of her arms, she draws us close to her heart. She wants to hear all about our lives and what is going on, and what is on our mind and what weighs heavily on our hearts. As we open our heart to her she draws us deeper into the warmth of her motherly love and she embraces us so tenderly and lovingly.

Our Mother Mary loves us just as we are and beyond words. She has her beautiful motherly arms open for us, and invites us to come into her treasured arms, and experience her intimacy and closeness, and know the indescribable joy of our heavenly mother’s love.

Written by Fr. John Keane