In today’s Gospel we hear a conversation with Jesus and His disciples; and in it, I think, we hear a longing by them to be with Jesus always. They are confused and they are not sure what Jesus is telling them but deep down they are afraid of losing Him – of not being together with Him. Indeed, it is feeling that all faithful have had, are having and will have – until that day we arrive at the house He has prepared for us. Like the disciples we need, we long for our God to be with us. When we really look at it – our prayers are foundationally our desire to be with the Lord.
Prayer, in one sense is longing for God. We are here and we long for God to be with us – or we with Him. We set time aside to communicate with Him – to be ever closer to Him; but ever since the fall of Adam and Eve mankind has struggled with this longing. The longing is a good thing; the struggle is that we don’t recognize it as such. We get frustrated, we grow tired in our longing; we give up in our constant drive to be one with our Lord.
In this month of Mary, I think it is fitting to look to her as our intercessor in our longing for her Son. Indeed, she is the perfect example of longing for God – her longing for God has been answered. The Holy Father said of Mary “In Mary, this petition has been granted: she is, as it were, the open vessel of longing, in which life becomes prayer and prayer becomes life.” The Gospel of St John is unique in highlighting this by never once using Mary’s name – instead St John calls her ‘the Mother of Jesus’. With her fiat she no longer is Mary, she has given herself to Him, she is totally the Lord’s – her identity is one with God the Son. In her we see longing fulfilled we see the fruit of true prayer.
Who better to ask for help in our struggles with longing for her Son.