THE MERRY MONTH OF MAY
May always follows Easter, no matter how late that day might be. And so there is a joyfulness in May that March and even April typically do not fully share. It is the joy of Mary who knows of the Resurrection of her Son and its meaning far beyond anyone else.
While Mark and Matthew are silent about it, Luke and John both know the tradition of Mary’s being present during the horrors of Holy Week and the exultation of Easter: at the foot of the Cross, and then in the Upper Room with the disciples. She is simultaneously Our Lady of Sorrows and Mother of the Church.
And so, we celebrate Mary’s day in Mary’s month with May crowning at the Sunday Masses. And on this same weekend we celebrate our own mothers, so many of whom have stood beside the crosses of their children, and who hope and pray for the fulfillment of the promise of life in the Risen Lord. They bear us, bear with us, nurture us, love us in spite of ourselves
Gerard Manley Hopkins’ tribute to Mary is worth reflecting on, and so I excerpt it here for you:
May is Mary’s month, and I/Muse at that and wonder why:
Her feasts follow reason/Dated due to season
Candlemas, Lady Day;/But the Lady Month, May,
Why fasten that upon her,/With a feasting in her honour?
Ask of her, the mighty mother:/Her reply put this other
Question: What is Spring?–/Growth in every thing
All things rising, all things sizing/Mary sees, sympathizing
With that world of good,/Nature’s motherhood.
Their magnifying of each its kind/With delight calls to mind
How she did in her stored/Magnify the Lord.
Well but there was more than this:/Spring’s universal bliss
Much, had much to say/To offering Mary May.
This ecstasy all through mothering earth/Tells Mary her mirth till Christ’s birth
To remember and exultation/In God who was her salvation.
Happy Mother’s Day, and blessed month of Mary to us all!