When a 5-year-old Mary says: “Well, if this is OK with God, it’s OK with me”

This week, we draw our gaze to the Blessed Mother, illustrating the beauty of her intercession, as she cares for each of us as her own, granting us consolation, relief, love and protection.

By: Sr. Bernadette McManigal, B.V.M., Superintendent of Catholic Schools

Mary is often remembered as a model of simplicity and humility, and rightly so. She lived a quiet life and the Bible has recorded only a few of her spoken words. However, let us consider for a moment how Mary exemplified great courage as she humbly said “Yes” to God’s will.

Cranach_Madonna_under_the_fir_tree

For parents, the news of new pregnancy can be joyful, but typically brings some unspoken concerns about the future. As a new mother, Mary must have had some concerns. Life can be difficult and the future is always full of uncertainty.

A few years ago, I was at a school play where kindergarten children were retelling the story of Jesus in their own words. The play opened with Mary sweeping the floor when an angel came into the room and announced that God wanted her to be the mother of His son. The 5-year-old Mary paused for a moment, and then, placing her hand on her hip, replied, “Well, if this is OK with God, it’s OK with me.” I have often thought that those are great words to live by but it requires courage to do so. Mary had the courage to say “Yes” – yes to a future full of unknowns.

Soon after the Annunciation, Mary set out to see her cousin, Elizabeth. The journey was long, rough and over unfriendly terrain. Granted, she wanted to visit her cousin, a woman who was pregnant in her old age, but Mary could have found excuses not to go. She, too, was pregnant and could have very well sent a kind message, and Elizabeth would have understood. Scripture simply tells us, “Mary set out” (Luke 1:39).

When considering the events of Mary’s life, we see the courage of a mother looking for a lost child; of a woman who sees her son follow his path and leave home; of a woman who tells her son, “They have no wine” (John 2:3); of a woman who knows that the forces of evil are building and her son is a target; and, of a mother who stands at the foot of the cross, watching her only child suffer and die. This is Mary, Our Mother and our model.

All of us, like Mary, face an unknown future. We can be deluded into thinking that Mary faced her challenges with ease and was somewhat above the tribulations of life. We need to remind ourselves, in times of stress, that Mary shows us the example of facing life’s challenges with courage. Faith in God’s plan, which Mary exemplified, gives us that courage.

May I suggest when we feel we need a bit of courage, to look to Mary? If what we are being asked to do is OK with God, it must be OK with us.

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