Do you like the month of May? Why? I like it very much because I am from Houston and the weather is gorgeous preparing for the summer heat. Houston is the best city! Just kidding. No, I like the month of May because it’s the month for all mothers. I have great honor for them because they sacrifice so much for all of us to have life. There is just no way we can pay our mother back. It is also a month of Mary, our Mother. We cannot love her enough either. Every time I am down or making a transition in life, she is always there. I am going through a rough transitioning right now too and she is comforting me.
In the Old Testament there is a book called the Book of Esther. This book tells the story of Queen Esther and her help of rescuing her people from destruction. The story goes that Esther, who is a Jew, is married to Ahasuerus, a Persian king. This king does not take making decisions very seriously, and often makes decision for trivial reasons. His minister, Haman, does not have a good relationship with the Jewish people and is looking for ways to destroy them. At last, Haman tricks King Ahasuerus into believing that the Jews are a different people, and that they do not obey the king. As a result, King Ahasuerus gives power to Haman to destroy all the Jews who live in that land. Sensing the danger facing the Jews, Mordecai, Esther’s uncle, comes to Esther to ask her to use her power and influence as queen to change the king’s mind, so that the Jews will not be destroyed. That is exactly what Esther does. After some days praying to God, Esther goes to King Ahasuerus, and using her influence, she successfully convinces the king to retract his decision, and so she is able to save the Jewish people from destruction. Not only that, she is able to have Haman punished for his crime against the Jews.
When reading this Bible book, many people see an image of Mother Mary in Queen Esther. How so? Think about it. We have a parallel in the characters. The king represents God (but God is so much better than the king). Queen Esther represents Mother Mary. We are Mary’s people. And Haman stands for our enemy, the Devil. The Devil always has a problem with us because he does not like us. He tries to corrupt us and destroy us by tempting us to sin. (Stop for a second and think about how many times you were tempted to sin in the past few days.) In our temptations, we may feel weak, unworthy, or scared to come to God for help. Who, then, can we come for help? Mother Mary, of course! Many saints say that is the main reason why God makes Mary our Mother and Queen. As a Mother, she always loves us and cares for our wellbeing, and as a Queen, she has the power and influence to pray to God for us. What mother does not love her children, and what queen does not care for her people, right? A good mother always cares for her children and put their needs before her own. That is exactly how Mother Mary treats us. Up in Heaven, she constantly looks down on us to see if we need anything. Once she sees that we need something, she immediately prays to God for us and obtains it for us. It is in her nature to love us and to see that we are living our lives well. So never be afraid of Mary. Never avoid her. Come to her and talk to her. She is available to you at any time.
And as we often dedicate some days to honor someone, such as Memorial Day and Presidents’ Day, our Church dedicates the entire month of May to honor our Mother Mary. In Vietnamese, we also call the month of May Tháng Hoa, meaning the Month of Flowers. This name points to the many flowers we place in front of Mary to honor her, to the point that her altar may look like a garden of flowers. As we give her many flowers, let us keep in mind that Mother Mary is the most beautiful flower in the garden of God because of her perfect virtues. Let us follow her footstep in living virtuous lives so that with Mary, we can please God with the fragrant of our virtues in the garden of Heaven.
Meanwhile, let us also honor Mother Mary with her most favorite flower, the Rosary.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. (You finish the rest.)
-Fr. Steven Tran