As Catholics, we turn to Mary, the Mother of God and our mother. Mary’s journey with God was one of deep faith and great trust. She had a grace-filled openness to the mystery of God in her life.

We are familiar with Luke’s account of the Incarnation when the angel appeared to Mary and announced, “The Lord is with you.” Mary fully grasped this message and was therefore able to believe. Because she was able to believe, she was able to respond in faith, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to your word.” However, before Mary responded to God, the Scriptures remind us that Mary was confused and frightened, and was deeply disturbed by the angel’s greeting. Mary was fully human. In spite of her faith, her belief, her love, she was still confused and disturbed. She struggled to say “Yes” to the Lord! She “pondered” these words in her heart.


Pondering is not simply a question of “thinking” or of trying to master the realities of faith or mysteries of life. It is not a question of trying to control these realities or mysteries or reduce them to something our minds can handle. Rather, it is a question of letting the realities of faith be with us, to enter into us and reveal themselves to us. It is allowing ourselves to be molded by them, to allow God’s will to become our will. It is fostering both an attitude and atmosphere of trust and openness in our lives.      

Mary took a leap in faith. She had to let go of her plans and say “Yes” to a life of faith. In spite of her awareness of her own unworthiness and littleness, she had to say “Yes” to become the mother of God and also all that it would entail. She was asked to let go of her plans and let God take over her life. Mary’s “Yes” was to culminate at the foot of the cross.

Mary understood well that she would never completely understand! Even in her limited understanding, she trusted in God and said “Yes” to God’s plan. Immediately after the angel left her, Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth. As soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, “the child leaped in her womb.” “Blessed are you among women, blessed are you who have believed.” Mary can be seen as the first to bring Christ forth and share him with the whole world. Mary was the messenger and Christ was the message.

We, like Mary, are asked to bring forth a Savior to a weary, hurting world. The mystical body of Christ is pregnant with hope and calls us to be a Christ-bearer to a world desperately in need. It is a world in waiting for our eager and decisive “Yes” to the Lord and our “Yes” to a life of faith, as we are sent forth to follow the example of Mary and follow in the Christ’s footsteps.


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