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My Father’s Table and Mary

Mike’s father is not the only person who has impacted his life. Our Blessed Mother is also affecting how he sees the world. Read the rest of Mike’s story:

Over the years, my devotion to our Blessed Mother has grown. At home we have this great book by Bro. Mickey McGrath. It includes different Marian names, images, and prayers; we use that book with our oldest daughter. Just the idea of Our Lady having so many titles, playing so many roles, and being available to us in so many ways is powerful.

As I worked with some Latino communities in the Camden Diocese, seeing Mary as an indigenous woman – in the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe – really impacted me. It lined up with my social justice vocation and the teachings of the Church: that God is close to those on the margins. Our Lady of Guadalupe lives that out.

Mary’s prayer, the Magnificat (Luke 1:46–55) is another source of inspiration for me. I find myself praying that, even singing it, often. In it, I see how strong and active Mary is, how human she is, and how she recognizes that God consoles the poor and lifts up the lowly. This is a radical prayer and shows Our Lady as a patron of the work we do for social justice.

And Pope Francis has lifted up Mary, the Undoer of Knots. At the World Meeting of Families, there was an exhibition where pilgrims could tie their own prayer intentions (knots) at the grotto, and also untie the knot of someone else in need. This links so well with our helping others and making the world a more just place.

The other day I saw a cartoon of Mary and Jesus as a little kid. And Jesus is saying, “Mom, Mom, Mom” ten times. The caption is “The First Rosary.” For me, the cartoon was a humorous reminder that, in the midst of this mess and our uncertainties, when we’re wondering what we’re going to do today to entertain the kids, Our Lady is with us and shares in our lives in a very real way.

Mike Jordan Laskey is the Senior Communications Manager for the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States. He lives in Maryland with his wife, Genevieve, and their three children, whose ages combined don’t even reach double digits. Prior to the covid pandemic and stay-at-home order, his favorite movie was “Groundhog Day.” He’s rethinking that.


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