The death of a pet is a blow as deep and as sad as the death of person; after all don't we care and love our pets in similar ways to how we care and love others in our lives? Isn't it a good rule of thumb that if you want to understand how a future spouse treats those that are vulnerable you should watch how he treats pets?
If you are a reader of my blog and Tweeter, than you already know of our family’s loss of Crumpet; Crumpet had died between our going to Mass and having our family Sunday movie adventure.
We all gathered to bury our little friend in our front garden flower patch and say some prayers over his little body. Then life "returned" to pre-pet time. It seems fitting that all this happened during Advent. Here we are in the second week of Advent and I am thinking about Mary, mother to be, and wondering what would she be thinking; will there be little dead pets in Jesus’ childhood? More than likely there were, and more than likely Mary and Joseph would gather around a sad young Jesus as he puts to rest whatever pet he may have had.
Now Catholic teaching tells us that Mary knew Jesus was going to die, Luke 2:34-35 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed; if I were Mary that would be far too cryptic for me. I would lock it away in my heart for further consideration but I couldn’t live always in fear of the future. And I don’t think Mary could have lived always in a continuous state of fear over Jesus and his future. That would have made Mary a very paranoid mother. To be in that state of concern makes moms into Helicopter moms: A colloquial for a mom who pays extremely close attention to her child's or children's experiences and problems; it is a form of "overparenting", where parents try to resolve their child's problems, and try to stop them coming to harm by keeping them out of dangerous situations. I don’t see Mary being that kind of mom.
Look at how Mary handles the teen Jesus when he goes off to be with the Rabbis in the temple. I can see Jesus being full of pepper and vinegar like so many thirteen year old boys! Seeing himself as an adult, knowing how the world works. Mary and Joseph weren’t too happy with him being gone and having to spend three days looking for the boy. But Mary is very cool, very specific in what she has to say to the boy. She doesn’t lay the guilt on too thickly, tells Jesus exactly what he needs to hear, and doesn’t go any further. It is clear that she is a positive parent, one who: Stays Calm in the Midst of Turmoil, has Consequences and Consistency, and tries to Role Model of Positive Accountable Behaviour; and I can say this because of the next lines in Luke: Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.