“Mary was the first person to take the ‘way’ to enter the Kingdom of God that Christ opened, a way which is accessible to the humble, to all who trust in the word of God and endeavor to put it into practice.” ~ Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
“Father, why do you Catholics worship Mary?” That is probably the question most often posed to me through the years by non-Catholics. They see our relationship to Mary as idolatrous and find it quite offensive. The truth of the matter is that Catholics do not worship Mary. We reserve worship to God and God alone. We do not worship Mary. We honor Mary.
Yes, we hold Mary in high esteem because of her witness to us. As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has said, Mary was the first person to take the “way” to enter the Kingdom of God. She did that by accepting God’s invitation to be the mother of His Son, Jesus. Mary, as human as you and I, had a choice to make. She could have easily said no. However, Mary was a humble maidservant of God. She had prayed for her entire young life for the deliverance of her people. When God gave her the opportunity to make that deliverance a reality, she was quick to say yes.
Yesterday, we began the month of May, one of two months each year dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. We do not dedicate these months to Mary because we worship and idolize her. We dedicate these months to her so that we have the opportunity to reflect upon her humble yes to God and ask God to give us the grace that we need to be just as humble in our relationship with Him.
There are many times that I try to put myself in Mary’s place. I ask myself if I would have the courage to say yes to God’s will without any real knowledge of what the implications of my yes would be. It is a hard question to ask myself because, if I am honest, I would have to say that I would have had way too much hesitancy.
The absolute faith and trust in God to accept His will without condition or reservation is the purest reflection of love for God. Mary had that faith and trust 100%. That is why I honor her. That is why I ask her to intercede for me with her Son so that I might be able to say yes to God’s will each day of my life.
FAITH ACTION: Commit yourself and your family to the Blessed Virgin Mary today and ask her to help you to see the way that is being offered to you by God.