Mary is the model for us to imitate if we want to know how to respond positively to God in our life. Mary’s “yes” and life-long cooperation with the Holy Spirit show us what makes for a robust Christian. If we follow Mary’s example, we are fulfilling our God-given call to aid the Church in her mission to bring about the transformation of humanity into new life in Christ. Through our words and deeds, we have to present Christ to the world so that all might benefit from this new life He desires everyone to benefit from. Living a robust Christian life is not about practicing our faith in the closed circle of those who happen to believe what we believe; it means being animated by a missionary impulse. These following words, written of Mary, remind us of that:
“Though modest silence is pleasing, dutiful speech is now more necessary. Open your heart to faith, O blessed Virgin, your lips to praise, your womb to the Creator. See, the desired of all nations is at your door, knocking to enter...Arise in faith, hasten in devotion, open in praise and thanksgiving” (St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Virgin Mother).
Following Mary’s example, speak the truth of Christ to those who doubt and challenge; offer Him praise in prayer and worship; dedicate your very body to carry on His work where life takes you. This Christmas, let us dedicate ourselves anew to giving “birth” to Christ, allowing Him to emerge in our time through our practice of a robust Christian faith, patterned after Mary’s example.
David J. Conrad