By Father Troy Richmond
During the month of May the Church traditionally honors the Blessed Virgin Mary. As we celebrate Mother’s Day, we not only give thanks to our biological mothers, but also acknowledge that the Blessed Virgin Mary is our heavenly mother. Not only do we honor her, more fittingly we imitate Mary as the perfect disciple and model for us to follow.
At the Annunciation, Mary offered her “yes,” her “fiat” to all that God asked of her and called her to as the Mother of God. As disciples, do we answer “yes” to all that the Lord asks of us? It is quite easy to answer God’s call when it involves an exciting opportunity or adventuresome pursuit. Yet, when the going gets tough and the cross is placed before us, we can look to Mary for strength and encouragement. She who held the newborn Christ with great love and joy also held in her loving arms the lifeless body of Jesus with a sorrow beyond words.
As Mary received the angel’s greeting and embraced her vocation as the Mother of God, she could not keep the Good News to herself. With joy, she shared what God was doing through her with her cousin Elizabeth, showing us how to be true evangelists. Mary’s visit to Elizabeth shows us that true discipleship involves taking every opportunity to share the Good News of the Gospel.
Pope Francis has reminded us that we are all called to be agents of the “New Evangelization,” to fan into flame the gift of the Spirit we have received and to share with others the joy of the Gospel. Following Mary’s example, let us resolve to share our love of Jesus in one small way every day. Whether in the workplace or at home, whether by actions or by words, let us never pass up an opportunity to be witnesses to the Risen Lord.
As we honor Our Lady with rosaries, crowning, hymns and prayers, let us learn from her what true discipleship looks like. May our “yes” to the Lord in all that we do and our eagerness to bring the Good News of Jesus to those around us make this May a month of honor to our Mother Mary and a time for us to grow to be more authentic disciples of the Lord.
(Father Troy Richmond is pastor of St. James Parish in Washington.)