Perhaps you’ve seen the T‑shirt with these words on the front: “No Mary, No Jesus,” and on the back: “Know Mary, Know Jesus.” How true! Jesus received his DNA from Mary, and received much of his human knowledge from her. His winning personality, his warmth, his love of others, and so many of the qualities that have charmed generations were developed in the home at Nazareth. So...no Mary, no Jesus.
Mary held Jesus in her arms at his birth, and she held him in her arms when he was taken down from the cross. She held him in her mind and heart always. Mary knows Jesus as no one else can, and she helps us to know Jesus better. So...know Mary, know Jesus.
That’s significant on this first Sunday of May, a day when the Association of the Miraculous Medal honors Mary and her Son Jesus at our annual May Procession. It’s significant also because of today’s Gospel, where Jesus is speaking to the apostles and to us: “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.”
We can’t love Jesus if we don’t know him. Some people think that knowing and loving Jesus means having warm feelings. Feelings can be part of knowing Jesus, but they aren’t essential. The Bible tells us what is essential: “Now by this we may be sure that we know him, if we obey his commandments” (1 John 2:3). And in today’s Gospel Jesus says, “Whoever loves me will keep my words.” Whether you have warm feelings or not, if you obey his commandments, if you keep his words, you know and love Jesus. Mary obeyed the commandments perfectly. Mary kept God’s word: “Let it be done to me according to your word.”
Know and love Mary, and she’ll help you know and love Jesus!