(The following is a reflection I was honored to share at Resurrection College Prep High School's May Crowning this year.)
My entire life I have been surrounded by women of faith who have taught me the importance of developing a strong relationship with Mary. Among these women were my grandmother, aunts, cousins and mother. My mother was most involved in my spiritual growth. She made sure I understood the Virgin Mary for who she was as Christ’s mother, but also as a woman. I’ll be graduating in about a month and I’ll be put in a position where my religious faith will be my responsibility. It’s my turn to keep up with it and take what I learned into serious consideration. Why is Mary so important to me? Why should I make an effort to connect to her?
I have made the choice to truly understand Mary for who she is. There are some things I have learned about her that have changed me as young woman. From the beginning of time, it was in God’s plan to choose a woman to be the mother of his only son. As a young girl, Mary was faced with the question of giving birth to Christ. I can’t imagine being around 13 or 14 years old and having God ask so much of me. At that age, I didn’t even know how to do my algebra homework, so to be asked to be the mother of God is unfathomable! Also, considering the time period Mary was in, being pregnant without being married was against all social standards. Mary could have been killed, but she says yes anyway! So in that moment, when Mary says yes to God, she defines what courage is and what it should be. That “yes” represents courage, but above all else LOVE.
Mary is our teacher, she created a name for us girls. She is a vital part of the church. I believe that God used Mary because he knew the position women were in and understood that even today females would be faced with difficulties. We have come a long way as women, but we still have much more to accomplish. However, Mary gives us hope that we are important to the structure of life and that we are needed! She helps us move forward and allows us to understand that she was a major stepping stone for the progression of a woman’s role.
Mary helps us recognize the meaning of love. She opens our eyes to God’s love and His love for us. As a mother and woman, she gives herself in ways that are difficult to express. Throughout Christ’s life, she protects Him and stands beside him through everything. She remains strong when having to witness her son’s crucifixion and in that instance all that she has left is her faith in God. Mary encourages me to have a strong faith and to act as God’s servant. I look to serve others because Mary gives me hope. She was the ultimate example of someone who gave herself completely to God. She gives herself to all her children. She prays for us and protects us.
Mary was asked to be Christ’s mother. God knew from the beginning that she would say yes. If God knows all things and could do anything then why does he ask Mary if she would give birth to his only son? God cares so much about our relationship with Him. He wants us to be comfortable! That is why I know Mary understands me and God understands me. God wants us to love Him on our own terms and the Virgin Mother is there to guide us through our spiritual journey. She wants us to find him, just like she found him and to build a relationship with Him, just as she did. And to top it off she is willing to help! When I am faced with a difficult situation, I look to Mary. Mary answers, but most importantly she listens and sometimes that is all I need. I would like to share with you a prayer that it truly represents how we should see Mary; and I can only hope that you may consider this prayer when you are faced with difficulty and in need of a role model figure:
“Call upon Mary! In Danger, in difficulty or in doubt, think of Mary, call upon Mary, Keep her name on your lips, Never let it pass out of your heart. Following in her footsteps, you will not go astray: Praying to her, you will not fall into despair: thinking of her will help you resist sin. While she keeps hold of your hand, you will not fall. You will not grow weary. You will have no fear. Enjoy her protection and you shall reach your goals.”