Tuesday, May 18, 2010
An Allegory for Mary
Thoughts for the Month of Mary
One of the coolest stories I've ever heard having to do with Mary was an allegory about how Mary's prayers for us work. I heard this at a few of the Youth 2000 retreats that I was on in High school and it moved me so much, that I never forgot it. I told it to my students when I was a teacher and recently, I told it to the students at the rosary workshop. It's so simple, yet so true and convincing. Here it is in my best rendition. Let me know if you've ever heard this before.
There once was a peasant who had a favor to ask of the king. But since he was only a peasant, he knew the king would never answer his plea. The king didn't have any reason to listen to a poor peasant who had nothing to offer a king. Knowing that this king had a mother whom the king dearly loved, the peasant went to her for help. After all, what kind of son wouldn't listen to his mother? So the peasant brought an offering to the mother of the king. It wasn't much, but it was all he had. He brought her a broken basket with a couple of rotten apples, some brown bananas and other pitiful looking fruits. The kind queen took small offering and told the peasant that all will be well. The peasant thanked her and went on his way trusting that the queen would solve his problem. The queen took the basket of fruit and threw it out of her window. She then replaced the peasant's offering with her best offering. She took out her silver platter and placed on it beautiful, exotic and lush fruits that were a delight for the eyes and treat for the mouth. She also placed on the platter, delicious treats she knew the king favored. She herself brought the beautiful offering of fruit and treats to the king and humbly asked the favor the peasant requested. The king of course granted the request! This was an offering fit for a king!
The peasant in the story is like us who come to God with requests. Our prayers are like the rotten fruit basket full of our own pride, selfishness, and other vices, not to mention all the distractions while we pray! Our prayers are less than perfect, but Mary, who is full of grace and humility, not to mention the Mother of God, is more than willing to take our pitiful prayers and make them like gold before laying them down at the feet of Jesus. And finally, our prayers and requests are fit for a king!