I was up before Ella this morning and had time to read in peace and quiet (a rare occurrence). Some of the readings and prayers in my Magnificat led me to think about Mary’s fiat (that is, her yes to God). There’s so much to learn from her love for God and her willingness to bear His son and subsequently watch him die on the cross. She’s a model of…
- Obedient faith
- Long waiting/long suffering
- Unhesitant love
Obedient Faith: Faith without obedience is meaningless. What good would it have done for Mary to believe but not obey? What if she’d said, “Lord, I believe but I just can’t go through with this pregnancy. I can’t face Joseph. I just can’t be humliated like that. I believe in you but hey, I can’t do this?” What kind of faith would that have been? It was obedient faith that brought Jesus into the world. It was faith followed by action. Mary’s obedient faith was like that of Abraham, her forefather (see Hebrews 11). Like Mary and her forefather I am called to something more than “faith alone” (James 2:20-24). I am called to an obedience that comes from faith (Romans 1:5).
Long waiting/long suffering: Mary’s life was far from easy. Of all people in the world you’d think that the Mother of our God incarnate would have been given a break. But instead Mary’s faith journey was one of difficulty (she was a refugee) and heartache (she watched her son be crucified – as a mom I can’t think of anything more painful than that). Mary said yes to a life that would require faithful waiting and long suffering. Mary’s yes is a pattern or example to follow for those of us who desire to know and love Jesus. Think about it, besides God the Father, who in this world would have loved Jesus more than his mother? I can only imagine how she would have gladly died in His place (I’d die for my children in a heartbeat). But instead, Mary accepted God’s plan for her son and for herself. Her long-suffering challenges me to accept the will of God in my life, even when it’s painful.
Unhesitant love: Mary’s yes did not have a plan behind it. She didn’t have all the answers as to what would happen and what her life would like like. A short dialogue with the Angel Gabriel, one small question about how this could be possible and then she responded: “I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be done to me according to your word.” She loved God more than herself and more than her own plans. Therefore she could say “yes” without hesitation. O how I need to love God like that.
O my Jesus, I want to be like your Blessed Mother, Mary. I want to live by obedient faith. I want to love without hesitation; accepting your will for my life even if it means there is long waiting and suffering. Amen.
Note to my Protestant friends:I know some who read this might struggle with understanding the love the Catholic faith has for Mary. I once struggled with this too. But after studying what the Catholic Church actually teaches about Mary I realized that my struggle was rooted in a great deal of misunderstanding over what the Church really believes.
Contrary to popular opinion we Catholics do not worship Mary. Worship is reserved for God and God alone. We do however, give honor where honor is due. And so, we honor Mary, the Mother of God in the flesh. We are called to imitate Jesus and it’s safe to say that being perfect in love Jesus always honors his mother (afterall, it is one of God’s big 10 :-). So, the honor we show Mary is one way we imitate Jesus. If you have more questions you can check out this link.