Wherever Mary Is, Her Son Cannot Fail To Be

May the Mother of God always keep us, and all our loved ones, close to her Immaculate Heart — and close to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

William-Adolphe Bouguereau, “The Virgin of the Lilies,” 1899
William-Adolphe Bouguereau, “The Virgin of the Lilies,” 1899 (photo: Public Domain)

(On May 4, Archbishop Gomez of Los Angeles made his first pilgrimage to Lourdes, France. The following is adapted from his homily delivered at the Grotto, where the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Bernadette Soubirous in 1858.)

Whenever I reflect on Our Lady, I think about those beautiful words from the wedding feast at Cana that we find in the Gospel of St. John.

Just these simple words: “And the mother of Jesus was there.”

For me, this is the great truth: The Mother of Jesus was there! Not only at Cana, but from the beginning. Salvation history unfolds through her. 

In the fullness of time, God sent his holy angel to Mary to announce the coming of Jesus. 

She was there to present him as an infant in the Temple, and again, as we heard today in the Gospel, to find him teaching in his “Father’s house.

Mary was there at Cana when he performed his first miracle and began his public ministry. 

She followed him in the crowds as he proclaimed the Kingdom. And the Mother of Jesus was there when her Son died, keeping her station at the foot of his cross. 

And finally, Mary was there when the Church was born, praying with the apostles for the Holy Spirit to come down at Pentecost.

St. John Paul II once said: “Where [Mary] is, her Son cannot fail to be.

That was true in the days of the Gospel, and it will always be true. Mary continues to be the maternal face of the Father’s mercy. In every age, in every place, and in every heart.

Throughout salvation history, in so many different times and so many different places, Mary has come to bring us hope and healing, just as she did here at Lourdes.

When Mary comes into our lives and into the world, she brings the good news that God is with us until the end of ages, that he will never leave us.

Those beautiful words in today’s reading from Revelation: “Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race … and God himself will always be with them.”

When Our Lady appeared here at Lourdes, she chose to reveal herself to a humble girl from a poor family. Bernadette knew her prayers and went to church, but she didn’t know how to read or write.

Mary appeared to her as a young woman, dressed in white, making the Sign of the Cross, and holding a rosary in her hand.

The Lady was too beautiful to describe, Bernadette said.

And when she asked who she was, the Lady smiled sweetly and said, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” Then the Lady disappeared, still smiling.

In this simple way, Mary reminded us that she is the Holy Mother of God, who brings a new beginning to the human race, by the blessed fruit of her womb, Jesus.

And we hear Jesus’ beautiful promise today, from the Book of Revelation: “Behold, I make all things new.” 

My brothers and sisters, Jesus still wants to make all things new. In your life and in mine, and in the life of every person.

He wants to heal what is broken, to wipe away the tears from our eyes. He wants to free us from sorrow and death. 

Our Lady told Bernadette: “Go, drink and wash in the fountain.”

And today, in this sacred place where the healing waters flow, Our Lady is calling each of us to renew our love for her Son.

The saints teach us: “To Jesus through Mary.” And we can go to Jesus through Mary because Jesus came to us through Mary.

Through Mary, we understand the truth that she is our mother, too, and that we are God’s children, his sons and daughters, beloved by the Father who made us and who knows our name. 

Through Mary, we come to know the truth that Jesus wants to be born in your heart and mine, and in every human heart.

And so now, dear brothers and sisters, Our Lady is calling us to carry this beautiful message of God’s love into the world. 

Like St. Bernadette, let us bring the smile of Our Lady to every person we meet! 

In the Gospel today, St. Luke tells us: “His mother kept all these things in her heart.”

Let us ask for that grace, too, as we pray today on this holy ground. May we always keep the things of Jesus, the mysteries of his love, deep in our hearts.

And may the Mother of Jesus always keep us, and all our loved ones, close to her heart — and close to the heart of her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

All to Jesus through Mary! Amen!

L to R: The popular chocolate Ferrero Rocher actually honors Our Lady of Lourdes.

Ferrero Rocher: The Chocolate Inspired by Our Lady of Lourdes

Rocher de Massabielle marks the location where the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Bernadette in France. Chocolatier made annual pilgrimages to Lourdes and also organized a visit for his employees. He also had a statue of the Virgin Mary in each of his company’s 14 production facilities around the world.