May this glorious celebration of the first day of the new year inspire you to be faithful witnesses for the kingdom of God! May the testimony of your life be modeled upon the example of our Blessed Mother Mary!
Mary was and will be for all time, an authentic follower of the Christ. In the same way the humanity of Jesus obeyed his mother, the humanity of Mary obeyed her divine Son.
She is and will be for all people of goodwill, a genuine holy person whose sanctity lies simply in her humble love for God. Unlike other sages, there are no enigmatic “words of wisdom” nor dramatic “acts of heroism.”
She lived an ordinary life under the same conditions of difficulty in which we struggle with our own, yet she faced these conditions with an extraordinary trust and spiritual maturity worth emulating in the midst of our troubled world.
She is a saint anybody can imitate and follow.
Mary is also a silent saint. Though scant in detail, the Gospel stories indicate the character of a unique woman who thinks quietly, and acts quietly. In spite of the silence, her deep love for God is evident, for her actions always signify the presence in her heart of a nurtured and intimate relationship with the Spirit, a relationship founded on faithfulness to God’s will, even if at times it cannot be fully understood.
She is a saint everybody should imitate and follow.
May you therefore be guided by these seven principles in following Mary:
- Meditate regularly on the goodness of God, so that we are wholly conditioned to a complete trust in his will, and to the certainty that whatever he desires or allows to happen for us, will be for our own good. Such meditations are key elements to sustaining a fervent and heartfelt daily prayer habit.
- Like the Virgin Mary, we ought to commit ourselves to the careful observance of the teachings and example of our Lord Jesus Christ. She followed her Son, not fully comprehending the scale and purposes of his mission, yet she loyally remained at his side, until the end. A true disciple must do the same.
- Like the Apostle John, let us accept Mary as our own spiritual mother, sharing in her joys and sorrows, not only for the sacrifice and glorification of her Son, but also for the sufferings and renewal of our dying world.
- In the same way Mary searched for the boy Jesus in the Temple, so should we also search for him in the confusion and complexities of our human condition. Not that Jesus is difficult to find, but we are not looking for him. Must we not become unconcerned in losing him from our daily lives?
- Remain in the protection of the Holy Spirit, that we may be guided to a mindful listening and reflection on the plans of God. May we always ponder with great care what he wishes us to think and do for his kingdom.
- In the same way Mary struggled to care for Elizabeth in spite of her own burdens, so should we persevere in a patient and charitable service of those in need or those who cannot or will not reciprocate us in return.
- Be ever hopeful that a life of honest and humble service for the kingdom of God will culminate in a sharing of heavenly eternity with the Beloved! This is a solemn promise.
Brother Jess Matias is a professed brother of the Secular Franciscan Order. He serves as minister of the St. Pio of Pietrelcina Fraternity at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Mandaluyong City, coordinator of the Padre Pio Prayer Groups of the Capuchins in the Philippines and prison counselor and catechist for the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
The views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of LiCAS.news.