The Word Woman

Twice in the Gospel of John, Jesus addresses His own mother as “woman.”

John 2: 4  “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

John 19:26 “When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,””

This is the same term of expression He uses for the Samaritan woman who had had five husbands (John 4:21) and the adulteress about to be stoned (John 8:10).

Why the apparent dishonoring of His mother? Particularly in the setting of the culture of the time in the middle east, still present to this day, of honoring motherhood.  Jesus is reminding us of the role of His mother as the new Eve, who will produce the fruit of redemption from the new tree of the cross, to counter the disobedience of the first woman who offered the forbidden fruit.

But there is more.

Jesus is also reminding us that the notion of the Creator, God (Himself) would need a mother to do anything is ridiculous if she was not meant to be for us. Our mother. If she was not meant to be the mother of humanity. He submitted Himself to her for us.

Hail then to our Mother, whom the early Fathers called the new Israel.

Psalm 131:

1 Yahweh, my heart is not haughty, I do not set my sights too high. I have taken no part in great affairs, in wonders beyond my scope.

2 No, I hold myself in quiet and silence, like a little child in its mother’s arms, like a little child, so I keep myself.

3 Let Israel hope in Yahweh henceforth and for ever.

 

“Through Mary, the miserable obtain mercy, the graceless find grace, the sinners receive pardon. The weak gain strength, earthlings acquire heavenly things, mortals win life, and pilgrims find their country!”

Saint Augustine

Leave a Reply