by Fr. Jim Chern, Director, Office of Vocations
Why is Mary so revered by Catholics?
We can look at some of her many titles and attributes coming from Scripture – Mother of God; Full of Grace; Most Blessed - and those indeed tell us how special she is.
We can reflect on how as Jesus hung on the cross, He gave Mary, His Mother, to us saying “Behold your Mother.” In that He was establishing a new relationship of Love between her and all disciples as our Mother.
But it’s something more. An interesting paradox particularly revealed in today’s Solemnity of the Annunciation. We hear the Gospel account of how the Angel Gabriel brings Mary this amazingly good news that would seem to distance her from us. Yet, at the same time, this Gospel reveals what ties Mary to us in an intimate way; in her dialogue with the angel, we see the pattern for how God works in our lives as well.
Fr. James Martin, S.J., in his new book entitled Jesus: A Pilgrimage, expands on this in a beautiful chapter that reflects on today’s feast day entitled simply, “Yes.” In this chapter, Fr. Martin shares how we see glimmers of how what happens to Mary happens to us. To summarize, he points out that:
But we are told of meek obedience.
No one mentions courage
The engendering Spirit did not enter her without consent.
That’s why this feast should fill us with joy and cause us to align ourselves even more closely to Mary… How God Loves us!
He initiates the conversation
He intersects with our lives
He invites us into His story
He comforts us in our fear at accepting this radical change by reminding us of all He has done and continues to do for us.
He trusts us, humbly waiting for us to say “Yes.”
May Mary our Mother pray for us that we will have her attentiveness, her courage to accept what it is God is inviting us to be a part of. To say “Yes” to Him – and to be surprised by the results; see the blessings multiplied in ways we can’t anticipate; see our lives and the lives around us changed.
That’s what the Annunciation promises us – when we say Yes to God, the world is completely transformed.
This blog will contain resources, reflections, homilies, and articles to help you in your discernment.