Updated: Aug 25, 2022
This is a short reflection on the story of Mary.
One of the most glorious scenes of faith in the whole of the bible is found in the first pages of Luke’s gospel when the angel Gabriel comes to a young lady (very likely a teenager) and says to her, “You are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” He then goes on to explain to Mary how God has a job for her. The glorious young lady, in effect, swallows hard and says, “Alright, where do I sign?” “I am the Lord’s servant; may it be to me as you have said.”
With those words Mary commits to the journey ahead of her. She was the one who knew the joy of the first movements of the Christ child within her. And she was also the first to suffer for our Lord as she agonized during childbirth as she brought him into the world. And when the shepherds showed up with the news of the choir of angels who had sent them, Mary says Luke, treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
She was there when her and Joseph presented Jesus before the Lord at the temple and the aged Simeon, as he held the Christ child and celebrated, would also turn to Mary and say, “And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
Mary got her first taste of what this might entail when a dozen years later she lost her boy for three days during the Passover. “Why have you treated us like this?” she agonized when they finally found him. To which the young Jesus responded, “Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” And once again our heroine treasured these things in her heart.
And it was thirty years later, again at the time of Passover, when this glorious woman would witness her son taken from her on Calvary’s cross.
“Let it be for me according to your word,” she had said at the beginning of the journey. And now in tears, with her heart full of memories, she was once again in agony over her son.
Scenes of faith don’t get any more glorious than this.
Mothers, grandmothers, you who long to be mothers and grandmothers... young ladies, aged widows - your story resonates with Mary’s. We are so glad that you along with her have said, “Yes” to Christ in your own way. And we pray that on the path of faith, even as you experience your own mix of joy and sorrow in his service that you too would find yourself treasuring these things in your heart as you persevere in faith.
Thank you, each one of you, for your example of faith.