The truth – for many that seems an abstract concept. But then, what to make of “the whole truth”? Yet through Mary, this abstraction takes on a very concrete meaning for one’s whole life.
What is the role of the Holy Spirit?
During His ultimate speech in the course of the final supper, Jesus emphasizes the mission and role of the Holy Spirit: “But when, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth (Jn 16, 13).
The expression „the whole“ or “all the truth” is only mentioned one more time in the New Testament, namely in the story of the woman with the hemorrhage that Mark relates.
It takes the woman, who had already been ill for 12 years and who had sought in vain the help of many doctors, much courage to approach in the crowd the Savior and touch is garment from behind. Upon this, she is healed instantly.
One could express one’s admiration and leave it at that. The woman is healed – end of story. But in reality, it is far from finished. For Jesus wants to know who has touched him. Then the evangelist writes these heart-wrenching phrases: “The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth” (Mk 5:33). But Jesus said to her: “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.” (Mk 5:34)
The touching message of this event is that whoever comes to the Lord can do so in confidence. For the Lord is no magician, no wizard, but the Savior who knows the whole truth of our life. He wants us to hold this truth courageously up to Him, so that He can transform our story into a holy story.
As Jesus explained to His disciples, after His Ascension the Holy Spirit would introduce us to the whole truth. Nobody can contest that the truth is the most obscured today, when it comes to the realm of life itself. For it is one of the terrible confusions and dangers of modernity to think that life can be produced, manipulated, and bought. The Holy Spirit, however, reminds us with great clarity that life is always and unconditionally a gift: unmerited, wonderful, and immeasurable.
Since Mary has always been the Bride of the holy Spirit, she will assist Him, so that step by step, the whole truth of our life is revealed to us as well, especially where it is the hardest and where we tend to reject it.
It is all the more telling that the painting of Mary Undoer of Knots is – which might surprise some – tied to Pentecost and an image of the holy Spirit’s action. It is not fortuitous that the artist placed above the blessed Mother’s head the Holy Ghost in form of a dove.
The virgin does not keep the Spirit to herself. Instead, she hands Him on, bestows Him as a gift – according to the divine logic of love – to those who are most in need: those who are ill, confused, whose lives are tied in knots – perhaps have already been for a long time – but who will experience anew the beauty and truth of life when they put their trust in Mary, the Undoer of Knots who is also the Bride of the Holy Spirit.
Mary, Undoer of Knots and Bride of the holy Spirit, pray for us!
May 8th, 2018
Manfred M. Müller, priest, Vienna