A Reflection on Mary in this Month of May
May is marked with “alleluias” as we celebrate the Resurrection and live into the Easter joy we proclaim. May is also marked by the church in its dedication of the month to Mary. As we celebrate the Year of Faith, we reflect on the remarkable role Mary plays in salvation history. Her “yes” to God’s invitation forever changed the course of history. Today, Mary offers us three essential pathways for living our faith.
Mary shows us how to listen. Mary was a young girl living in a culture where she could have been stoned to death for having a child out-of-wedlock. She knew the cultural and societal consequences of her “yes.” She knew what could happen if Joseph didn’t understand. She had reason to fear her parents’ reactions. When the angel appeared to Mary, we read in scripture how she was deeply troubled. Somewhere deep within she found the courage, inner strength, and grace to respond with full assent, “Let it be done to me according to your word.” Mary show us what it means to listen with full intensity to what God is asking, God’s invitations may very well demand everything of us. Deep pondering, heart-centered attentiveness, and courageous listening are required of us, too.
Mary shows us how God’s word must be shared with others. When Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, they did not simply exchange a simple greeting, but one of deep faith. God’s word is meant to be shared. It cannot be contained within us if we are to be filled with the life it offers. We must share it with others. During this Year of Faith, we are invited to ponder the word of God so that we might share it joyfully with others.
Mary shows us how to live in God’s word. Mary lived moments of profound joy as well as profound sorrow. From losing Jesus in the Temple to the journey to Calvary, Mary lived these sorrows and anguished deeply. Mary formed and raised Jesus from the simplicity of her daily life. She was a person in conversation with God, with the Word of God, and also with the events through which God spoke to her. From the Annunciation to Pentecost, Mary appears as someone whose freedom is completely open to God’s will and shows us how to live in God’s word.
In this month of May, may we turn to Mary in our times of joy and sorrow and ask her to continue to show us the way to her Son. As we strive to grow in faith and live more fully in God’s word, may we, like Mary, bring Christ to others.
by Sr. Katherine Feely, SND Just Faith Ministries