My favourite image of our blessed Mother is The Virgin of the Rocks by Leonardo Da Vinci.
The rocks around her invoke an isolating and harsh place, a wilderness, yet the warmth of the colours bring a softness that is brought to the environment just by her presence.
Mary’s expression combined with her outstretched hand over her infant Son draws the eyes to follow her Son’s blessing to the infant John who is tucked under her mantle. The angel at her side is in adoration of her Son, yet is sat at Mary’s feet in comfort and assurance. Behind Mary’s shoulder is the glimpse of the dawn light breaking forth on the whole scene.
A scene of promise and hope in the face of harshness and wilderness.
Mothering Sunday can feel like we are sat in the rocks, in the wilderness.
My children are not with me today as they are with their Dad. Many people are separated from their loved ones due to the virus. The ache of separation weighs heavy like the rocks in the scene.
Today I take comfort in the vision of Mary in the rocks, a scene of promise and hope in the face of harshness and wilderness.
Perhaps this is where you are today for many reasons, but remember the dawn light shines on the beauty of what we have, it shines on what was, and what we had, and that beauty never fades.
We are not alone or isolated on this Mothering Sunday, we are with the Angel sat at the feet of Mary, we are with the infant John tucked into her mantle, we are the flowers on the ground that bloom in the wilderness.
Hear the words of Jesus to his blessed Mother speaking over you today,
“Woman, here is your child .’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’