Saturday, March 28, 2015

New Icon of Mary Celebrates the Role of Women

This Easter we received a beautiful gift for our Resurrection College Prep High School Chapel.  This special gift is an icon of the Virgin Mary sitting in the midst of the Apostles.  After Easter and the Ascension Mary prayed and waited with the Apostles for the outpouring of God's gift of the Holy Spirit.  

This icon used to hang in Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center prior to the hospital being transfered to another owner.  Resurrection College Prep is a wonderful home for this icon since the icon depicts the important role of Mary and of all women in the Church.  Mary is seated in the "teacher's" chair.  Note the Apostles are barefoot while Mary wears red shoes.  Mary wears shoes as a symbol of the authority Jesus has given her to lead the Apostles in prayer and in waiting.  Her shoes and her mantle are both red symbolic of the Resurrection message of victory over death, of forgiveness, of love, and of power.  Mary wears shoes as a symbol of the authority God has given her to proclaim the message:  of the Resurrection, of conquest over death, of God's unconditional love, and of her leadership as Queen Mother.  
All these symbols indicate that Mary was empowered by Jesus to teach the Apostles how to wait, pray, and ready their hearts for the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Note that although Mary sits in the center, as the teacher, she does not hold the focus of the Apostles on herself, but rather directs them to lift their eyes and hearts toward her Son who reigns in heaven.

As Jesus appointed Peter head of His Church Jesus appointed Mary as the heart of His Church.  Mary taught the Apostles and continues to teach us how to open our hearts to the gift of God's Spirit.  Pope Francis recently told a group of women that, all women are called to be "Heart" for the Church and reveal the tender face and forgiving heart of God to the world.  

Stop by the Chapel and be inspired by this beautiful icon and its powerful message about Mary's role and our role as women to proclaim the Easter message.

And so maybe Easter shoes should be RED.

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