Teenagers . . . a time you never imagined when holding your precious newborn. A time for hiding the fact you are out in public with your mother. One incident will forever stand out in my mind . . . a Friday night at the local movie theater. My middle daughter Whitney had to have been around 14 or 15 years old. Walking from the parking lot to the crosswalk leading to the theater, she stopped me short. "Mom, OMG! You are not my mom, but my sister Amber home visiting from college." I just looked at her. "What?" I asked (with no attitude whatsoever!). She had spotted some people from school (she had just started her freshman year of high school) and was horrified should she be spotted with her . . . groan . . . mother!! Always up for a charade, I jumped right into character as her new friends approached! I can't remember if her friends bought it or not, but "Amber" comes up every once in a while. Now that Whitney has a son and daughter of her own, I will always help to prepare her for those teenage years. When we've touched on it, her response has been "It will be different with Colton and Savannah. They've known Jesus and Mary from day one and will not be typical teenagers." Uh-huh, I think to myself. You just wait my sweet baby girl. What we expect of and pray for our children detours once in a while. I pray I live long enough to see my girls with teenagers of their own!
Today's Gospel (Luke 8:19-21) made me wonder if Mary knew Jesus' response when told of her presence. But then we remember the great faith and endurance our Blessed Mother had to possess as the Mother of God:
The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd. He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.” He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”
In Anne a lay apostle's book Climbing the Mountain, she teaches us the power of endurance:
"But you and I can suffer with Jesus. In fact, we can do something even more remarkable. We can take the suffering for which we have no control over anyway and we can transform it, through our patient and obedient acceptance and endurance, into a supernatural release of grace for our salvation, for someone else’s salvation, and now in preparation for Jesus’ new, dynamic coming into our time, in whatever form that takes."
Lay apostles, it takes a lot of faith, love, patience, and endurance to go the distance for Jesus. The end goal is heaven for all eternity. If we stay focused on that goal, our reactions/actions become more Christlike. As parents, we are in it for the long haul. The more humility and endurance we show our children, the better they will be as parents. So if they choose to call you their "sister home from college," smile and remember how you felt about your parents at that age . . .
Thank you, Lord, for the endurance You blessed me with as a parent of three girls. And for all the laughs their trials and tribulations of the past give us now at family gatherings!