What kind of evangelizer do you want to be? Our Gospel today, and the essence of our Gospel calls each of us to think about this; I start with myself. The easy part is to “proclaim” the Word of God, the harder part is to live it – the two MUST go together, otherwise those who hear will know the words to be empty words. We celebrate today Our Lady’s Saturday, so it’s a most apt opportunity to reflect upon today’s Gospel and consider how Mary lives the Gospel out well; she embodies it perfectly. Jesus calls us to be sowers of good seed, to spread well the Word of God. Our Lord went to temple and spent time with the learned men of Galilee and Jerusalem, but we ought to never overlook the example and learning given to Him by His Holy Parents. They may not have had the “learned” understanding of the Sacred Scriptures, but we not from every mention of them in the Gospels they lived it well.
We hear throughout the Gospel of the many times Jesus’ mother “pondered (the many profound encounters with God through their Son) these things in her heart”. What a tremendous example she was, and what a great point of departure to continue “spreading seeds” as a devout Christian as she was. How many of us full of zeal and ready for action become less committed in our discipleship because we lose sight of how the Lord is working through us. Mary surely must have had days of confusion, days where clarity was lacking, days where it seemed like nothing was going right, and then something happens and Mary is deepened in her faith, a depth that carried her through her trials in life that led her to charity; giving generously and selflessly when she easily could have taken time for self-pity or to withdraw. Did Mary teach her own Divine Son to give beyond what was normal, what was the norm?
Certainly we could make the argument that she had “perfect faith”, but this makes her less than human. Her faith is strong because Mary held on to the great moments of grace given to her and allowed those moments to transform her, and the transformation was manifested in giving always to others; to her Son, but to others like Elizabeth, like the Apostles, to the Church after her Son gave her to us all.
And those moments which might have made her weak otherwise give Mary what she needs to be strong for others. To be a rock of faith for others. She is a model for us all, and she is most definitely a model for me. As I celebrate Our Lady’s Saturday today, I am asking Mary to be rock and model of faith for me, but also for us all.