Advent is a beautiful season in which to draw closer to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus. Her “yes” brought forth the incarnation of Jesus. Many of our readings during this season focus on Mary and her heroic actions.
Mary is a hero because her “yes” required strength and courage. Her acceptance of God’s plan was not merely a passive response – it changed her entire life and called forth a determination and holiness to trust in God’s plan. From that moment, everything changed. Her betrothal to Joseph would be called into question. Their travel to Bethlehem brought challenges and resulted in an outdoor birth for her Son.
While the glory of His birth was certainly momentous and awe-inspiring, it was soon followed by the flight into Egypt to keep Jesus safe from Herod’s wicked attempt to kill all infant boys, including Jesus. This was hardly a tranquil and idyllic set of circumstances in which to bring our savior into the world.
By God’s grace, she who was full of grace navigated these situations with her heart full of faith. Even when circumstances were difficult, she trusted in God’s plan. Mary inspires us and we can ask her to intercede for us.
In this upcoming week, we will celebrate the Immaculate Conception of Mary (patroness of the United States) – the chosen vessel preserved from original sin. A few days later we will celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (patroness of the Americas). The Blessed Mother has revealed herself in various cultures and lands. Especially for our Mexican brothers and sisters, Our Lady of Guadalupe is revered and given great honor.
As we continue through Advent and these various Marian feasts, ask Mary to intercede for you. Just as the young couple at the wedding feast of Cana had their needs given to Jesus through Mary, we too can place our needs into her hands and ask our heavenly mother to take them to her son. Her response to us will be the same that she gave to the servants at that wedding, directing us to Jesus: “do whatever he tells you.”
Draw close to Mary and most especially to her son Jesus during this advent season. Allow her to accompany you each day, as we come closer to the joyous celebration of Christmas.
Jesus, I Trust in You!
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us…
The Most Reverend Robert J. McClory
Diocese of Gary