These past nights the sky has been clear where I live, and the moon full. It was really the most beautiful sight. The soft glow in the dark sky was so lovely. It was then that I recalled the lesson from my science class. The moon has no light of its own. What we see is the reflected light on the moon from the sun. This brought back to me a prayer that we said when I was in high school. It began: “Jesus the Sun, Mary the Moon”
And isn’t that appropriate. Mary, our mother, and Jesus’ mother, was just a simple human being like you and me. She is not God; she has no light of her own; she lives in the reflection of the brightness of her SON. Without Jesus, Mary would not be noted for much of anything just like all the other young maidens in Nazareth.
Jesus made all the difference in her life as her Magnificat proclaims. So the Moon as a symbol of Mary is most fitting.
Mary is the quiet one, mostly behind the scenes, just as the moon isn’t noticed much unless you are looking for it. Sometimes it fades from view completely, as Mary often does in the Gospel narrative. Not so the Sun. It is always noticed, and it should be.
The Son/Sun sustains life; The Mary/Moon enhances the Son/Sun’s work by being a serene reflector of it. Mary is a guiding force for us in our daily lives. Without her we might be at a loss to realize that we, simple human beings that we are, can reflect the life and love of God. The moon, by controlling the seasons, and keeping the seas active enhances our lives here on earth. Without the moon the seas would be flat and soon would become stagnant or dry up.
How about us then? We cannot be a grand life-giving force. But we can become a grand reflection of that awe-some grandeur that is God. And Mary is our model.
Jesus the Sun, Mary the Moon!
Let the moon always remind you of our gentle Mother Mary, and may YOU be a moon that reflects the divine beauty.
Peace, Joy, and Everything Good,
S. Sharonlu Sheridan, OSF, Educator
Oldenburg Franciscan Center