With Faith Everything has Purpose
There is no doubt in my mind that coincidences are God's way of making His loving presence known. This weekend, I spent a few hours in the hospital first visiting my father, who is suffering from Congestive Heart Failure as well as severely decreased kidney function. Then made my way, in the same hospital, to spend some time with my 93 year old Godmother, who after many years of living on her own and as sharp as a tack, is experiencing seizures and memory loss. My victory of the afternoon, making her laugh (more than once)!
When I arrived back home, I decided to unwind by perusing Facebook (FB) and sending out some FB birthday love. My usual method of posting FB Birthday Wishes, posting a fun bitmoji, does not usually entail me actually visiting my friend's wall. However, yesterday, by the stroke of one 'wrong' key, I landed on the FB wall of a long-time friend, and saw the following post made way back in 2009.
So much about this post is remarkable. First, I had completely forgotten I'd even written anything of the sort, but was immediately struck by the title, Mary: Model of Faith and Fidelity. Noting this was written long before I saw my first Fidelity Truck OR developed my current presentation (also offered as retreat day) Mary, Model of Faith. Yep the whole thing is just one Crazy Godcidence -- hence I had to share!
Mary: Model of Faith and Fidelity
Mary's yes to the angel Gabriel, hence to God, -- her “let it be done to me according to your word“, is an amazing model to responding to God's call in our own lives. Mary said yes to much more than just being the vessel to carry the baby Jesus , she models for us great faith and fidelity.
Mary personally welcomes and receives Jesus into her life, and we are called to do the same. To acknowledge all that he is - fully human and fully divine. Jesus humbled himself to be born man - so that we can see that he understands our struggles, our pains, our desires and fears. He walked among us in human flesh, completely able to sin, but choosing not to, the ultimate example of fidelity to God, and his Will in our lives. Accepting and receiving Jesus as our Lord and Savior, the one that took on our sins - each and every one of them. Allowing ourselves to embrace the great truth (and gift) that he suffered, died, and rose - so that we also may one day RISE with him!
The Workings of the Holy Spirit
Mary was open to the action of the Holy Spirit. It is the spirit that testifies or witnesses to the truth. The truth that God is our Father - that it is He, who Gave His one and ONLY son so whoever may believe in him, may not perish but have eternal life. The Spirit moves and breathes within us - it is through the Spirit that we touch Jesus nail holes and spear pierced side -- testifying to the resurrection, not in matter but in the very marrow of our beings. When we allow that Spirit to testify to our hearts, when we choose not to lean on our own understanding, but allow the supernatural spirit of God himself to direct us -- it is then that Great and Mighty things can be done through us, as it was with Mary.
Sr. Nancy Keller, at the 2009 Boston Catholic Women’s conference, told this wonderful story of the transforming power of allowing the Holy Spirit to move in our lives. Sr. Nancy shared with us a vision of herself as a bird sitting in a cage (inspired by Psalm 124:7). The door had been completely moved from the cage, Jesus had removed it through his Paschal Mystery, but yet the bird stayed perched in its confines. Jesus called to her urging her to come forth, for He had set her free. She wanted to, her heart burned to be free, but she was afraid, and replied to Jesus that she could not move, she didn’t have the strength. Jesus gently spoke to her soul, assuring her that he knew she could not fly on her own, and that is why he sent his the spirit - God’s Holy Spirit - the one that if we cooperate with, is the wind beneath our wings.
Embracing the Word of God
Lastly, Mary embraced the Word of God (as it became flesh within her), and allowed that Word to be implanted within her and grow - bearing incredible fruit! We too can embrace the word of God in our lives through the reading at Mass and through the study of the sacred scriptures. Working together with the Spirit to be enlightened to the truth through the living word of God. Letting it implant in our hearts bringing us closer to our Lord and our God. Just as this truth grew and came forth from Mary to spread the Good News, we too can bear that fruit forth by not holding onto this precious gift but sharing it.
May Mary’s fiat - her YES to God -- be a true model to each of us. Let us respond with a resounding YES, welcoming and receiving Christ daily, being open to the movement of the Spirit in our lives, and embracing and sharing the precious Word of God. May it be done to me according to your word (Luke 1:38).