May is traditionally a Marian month. As small children, many of us began participating in Flores De Mayo festivities, offering songs and flowers to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Depicted in various beautiful images and honored under many titles, Mary is a woman unlike any other. We call her the Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of the Rosary, Our Mother of Perpetual Help ... and rightfully so, for she is certainly all these.
But what makes Mary great? More than being the Mother of Jesus Christ, She was His first and, above all, His most faithful disciple. As the Lord said, "Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it." (Lk 11:28). These words of Scripture describe Mary in a nutshell.
MARY'S TOTAL OBEDIENCE
None of God's creatures, both human or angelic, resembles Christ as closely as She does. Like Her Son, Mary, who was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, submitted Herself fully to the Father's Will. Her FIAT, Her YES to God, was so total that She followed Him even to Calvary.
"The Blessed Virgin advanced in Her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in Her union with Her Son unto the Cross, where She stood, in keeping with the Divine Plan, enduring with Her only Begotten Son the intensity of His suffering, associated Herself with His Sacrifice in Her Mother's Heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this Victim which was born of Her" (Lumen Gentium 58).
In obedience to the Father, Jesus laid down His life to redeem the world. Although He was God, Jesus was also human. And so to be obedient even unto death was not an easy prospect for Him. Indeed, what the Father had asked of Him was a great sacrifice. This is why He agonized in the Garden of Gethsemane on the eve of His Passion.
As His Mother, Mary has a special share on Her Son's work of salvation (CF. LG 57). For any mother, watching her child suffer and die is unbearable. So much more for Mary, who loved Her Son not only as Her Child but also as Lord. She know Him more than anyone else, loved Him in the fullest sense. To watch Him humiliated and unjustly condemned to death, to walk with Him on the way of the Cross and watch Him die a most violent death, to received His lifeless body, to bury Him, to have to endure life without Him ... all these were asked of Her. She could have refused and spared Herself from the unimaginable pain. She could have hidden Herself with the other disciples and apostles. But She did not. She chose to do the Father's will even in moments when She did not understand.
A MEEK AND HUMBLE HEART
Only a few of Mary's spoken words are in the Bible. But through Her example of silent obedience, She speaks volumes. She shows us with utmost clarity that to be truly Christ-like does not consists in being able to perform great works, heal the sick, or preach eloquently. While these are all good, they would mean noting without humility. And true humility consists in recognizing that God's ways are better than ours. Thus, the truly humble are also truly obedient.
In His Heart, Christ is truly humble. "Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart" (Mt 11:29). He never claimed greatness for Himself and instead attributed it to His Father. Mary does the same thing. After being chosen to be the Mother of God, she calls herself a lowly handmaid of the Lord (CF. Lk 1:38) and glorifies God in the Magnificat (Lk 1:46-55). Mary never calls attention to Herself. She always points us to Jesus Christ. She draws us all under Her maternal protection for the sole purpose of bringing us to Her Son. As She told the servers at the wedding at Cana, "Do whatever He tells you" (Jn 2:5).
Indeed true devotion to Mary always leads to Jesus. "The Church does not hesitate to profess its subordinate role of Mary, which it constantly experiences and recommends to the heartfelt attention of the faithful, so that encouraged by this maternal help they may the more closely adhere to the Mediator and Redeemer (Jesus Christ)" (LG 62).
Jesus, who was the first to entrust Himself to Mary in the Incarnation, did not hesitate to entrust each and everyone of us to Her before He died. "Behold your Mother" (Jn 19:27). He knows how much we need our Heavenly Mother in our pilgrimage here on earth. She, who was His first teacher, continues to speak to each and everyone of us today, "Do whatever He tells you!" Follow Her example, live the Gospel of Love.
In entrusting ourselves to Her Most Holy and Immaculate Heart, we can be absolutely certain that Mary will help us to become more and more conformed to the Heart of Her Beloved Son.
MARIA DIVINA SOLANO
The Messenger of Divine Love
Volume II Number 4