Mary said ‘yes’ – what about us? LUKE 1:39–56
By Juliana Valdez
“Mary said yes to God our Father when there was work to do, the work was to be the Mother of Jesus and give Him to me and you.”
These are the lyrics of the first verse of a hymn the students at my school would sing during the Marian months of May and October at the morning assembly.
Reflecting on this Sunday’s gospel, I thought of this hymn and began to explore the many ways in which Mary’s “Yes” has given “Jesus to me and you”.
What then is the first example we need to consider? Mary displayed trust in God. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding…” (Prov 3:5–6).
Trust in God enabled Mary to respond to the angel Gabriel, “Let it be done unto me according to Thy word.” Faced with the trials and challenges of life, we too are called to place our trust in the Lord, not leaning unto our own understanding, but confidently depending on our Lord to see us through the many difficult situations we may be facing.
Like Mary, we must trust that God is well able to carry us through.
Then Mary visited Elizabeth, her aged cousin whom the angel had revealed was also with child. Care and consideration for others in times of need were the values Mary displayed here.
Throughout His ministry, Jesus showed these same values as He took pity on those who were afflicted in one way or another, bringing healing, wholeness, and restoration to those who were in need.
Mary, pregnant with Jesus, went to visit Elizabeth whose greeting conveys to us what we as Catholic Christians believe about the Mother of our Lord, that, among all women, she is the most blessed!
In the presence of Jesus, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leapt for joy, and filled with the Holy Spirit, she proclaimed, “Blessed is she who believed that the promise made to her by God would be fulfilled.”
In the presence of Jesus then, whom Mary gave to me and you, the Holy Spirit is at work in our lives, providing us with the wisdom, knowledge and understanding while strengthening our faith. This enables us, like Elizabeth, to praise and glorify God.
Can we claim to have that kind of faith in Jesus and the promises He has made to those who believe in Him? Are we strong enough in faith to stand on the promises He has given to us?
In faith, Mary proclaimed the beautiful prayer we know as the Magnificat, glorifying God, praising His power and might, His mercy and compassion, while reminding us that “……the Almighty has done great things for me….”
He has done great things for us too, and the greatest of these things is giving us, through Mary, His beloved son Jesus Christ, in whom we live and move and have our being!
Mary said “Yes” to the work God had for her to do. What about us?
“We must say yes to God our Father when there is work to do, to be good and kind like Jesus our brother, then we’ll be like Mary too!”
These are the lyrics of the second verse of the hymn and they encourage us to emulate the values and attitudes of Jesus our brother, our Lord and our Saviour because in receiving Him, we receive all that He has to give.
Let our “Yes” then, like Mary’s, be one of conviction, of trust and faith in Jesus Christ, care and compassion for others, while we acknowledge daily, the great things He continues to do for us.
God our Father, increase our trust, our faith and our hope in You as we seek to allow Your will to be done in our lives.
Like Elizabeth, may we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Mary our Mother as the most blessed among women.
We need Your Holy Spirit, Lord, to enlighten and inspire us to say “yes” to You when there is work to do.
And in Your Holy Presence, Lord, may we always find the comfort, peace and blessed assurance that we are indeed Your children and You are our God! Amen.
The gospel meditations for August are by Juliana Valdez, a retired primary school teacher. She is a mother of two, son Kyle and daughter J’elle, and is actively involved in the life of the Sacred Heart Parish, La Brea.