FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
MARY ON JOY AND TRUST
Notice something interesting in today’s readings? The first two are verses from which we took our themes for 2008 (joy) and 2009 (trust). These were the years after we consecrated ourselves to Mama Mary in August 2007.
Now Mary is the embodiment of joy and trust. In her canticle, she said, “my spirit rejoices in God my savior” (Lk 1:47), after Elizabeth told her, “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” (Lk 1:45). Elizabeth herself exhibited such trust and joy, as she who was old and barren had become pregnant according to the word of the angel, who also said she and Zechariah would have joy and gladness. Now even her unborn child in her womb “leaped for joy.” (Lk 1:44b).
After the restoration, these virtues of joy and trust were impressed upon us. Whatever difficulties, trials, oppression or suffering we would experience, we could persist and endure, because we trust in God’s goodness and plan, and because we rejoice in being His children and being given the privilege to serve Him. Whatever happened, these were realities of our relationship with God. Even great suffering was cause for joy, being redemptive and purifying.
What do we need to continue to do? We look to Mary.
First, we continue our work of evangelization, proclaiming God’s salvation to all, and giving the glory to God. “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord” (Lk 1:46). This is our reason for being. This is our life and our mission.
Second, especially as God uses us mightily for His purposes, we remain humble. Others should be able to look upon the lowliness of God’s servants (Lk 1:48a). In fact, the greater our work, the more we must see that it is not because of us, but only due to God’s grace and power. In fact, we are often the obstacles to God’s work. Now being laid low allows God to lift us up. Being empty allows God to fill us up. Through the years we will experience that “God lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things” (Lk 1:52b-53a).
Third, we realize that since we are doing God’s work, we can look to His strength and power. “My strength and my courage is the Lord” (Is 12:2c). Jesus said that his disciples would do even greater work than he did. And so we claim that “the Mighty One has done great things for (us)” (Lk 1:49a), and will continue to do so. God is about a mighty work in the world today, and we are privileged to be part of it.
Fourth, to become more effective instruments, since we are sinful human flesh doing divine work, we need to become more and more transformed in the image and likeness of our Father. Since “holy is his name” (Lk 1:49b), we too need to grow in holiness. We witness to the world of God’s love by showing the overt effects of such love on our lives. People need to see Jesus in us.
Fifth, we should remain in awe of Him, for God is Creator and Almighty King. Such is our proper posture before our Lord and Master. We must count ourselves among “those who fear him” (Lk 1:50b). We know our proper relationship. We always come before Him in worship.
Mary rejoiced in God her savior (Lk 1:47). We rejoice because “the Lord, (our) God, is in (our) midst, a mighty savior” (Zep 3:17a). We trust, are confident and unafraid, because “God indeed is (our) savior” (Is 12:2a). Jesus as Savior is the very center of our life and mission. Thus we continue to “give thanks to the Lord, acclaim his name” (Is 12:4a).
God is our Savior. We proclaim His salvation to the world. We “let this be known throughout all the earth” (Is 12:5b). And all the while, just like Mary, we never falter in maintaining joy and trust in our hearts.
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