by Theo Hartanto
When the angel came to Mary she was already so in tune with God, that she wasn’t troubled because an angel appeared before her, but because of the saying “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” Mary wondered, what it could be that God is asking of her. With an open heart, she entered into dialogue with God.
When it seems like God is calling us to do something, we can learn from Mary in our response, by talking to God and express everything that we feel in our hearts. God will surely respond and give us the grace.
The word ‘servant’ in Greek means slave. Mary is humble, someone who wants to use her life not for her own purpose but for God and for others. When she was pregnant with the Son of God, she spent almost three months helping her cousin Elizabeth. Mary put her own needs and comfort aside.
When we are asked to do something more for others or for God, do we seek anything in return? We always have a choice. Real freedom is being able to give our life to serve.
Many times in Mary’s life she encountered challenging situations and had to make tough decisions. Things are not always in Mary’s control, yet she was able to reflect and discern.
When things don’t turn up our way, we may like to ask God, “What is it that you are trying to show/teach me?” The way we respond to God is one thing that we can control.
“Never try to evade the cross that God sends you, for you will only find a heavier one.” – St. Philip Neri
Mary had to make several journeys that surely were not easy and took many days. One of the toughest would be in her third trimester when she had to flee her hometown to protect Jesus from King Herod. Later on she was turned away by innkeepers and had no place to go.
Mary found strength in God who helped her persevere through those challenging times. Not only did she have to push through physical, but also mental barriers. She never gave up, including the devastating journey that led her Son to the Cross.
Just like Mary we all have free will. From the very beginning when approached by the Archangel Gabriel, she knew the immense responsibilities and what she had to endure. If she wanted to, she could have turned away from God. Yet she said ‘Yes’, and even when life became difficult, Mary never stopped trusting God. She held on to her faith.
In all things, be grateful and rejoice. Echo Mary’s word, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.”