Have you known someone in your life who seldom speaks but people lean in to hear all they have to say? You find that if you listen carefully, their words are especially profound and meaningful to you personally.
I have found that the spoken words of our Blessed Mother invite me to lean in and listen and learn from her relationship with God.
The Blessed Mother’s spoken words in Scripture are few, recorded 3 times in the Gospel of Luke and once in John’s Gospel. Yet her brief spoken words, less than 200 words, have inspired innumerable prayers, hymns, homilies, and other devotional practices, perhaps none more than her words at the Annunciation.
How can these words of Mary at the Annunciation inform us and inspire us as part of our Lenten practices? What does Mary’s Yes mean for each of us?
“How can this be, since I have no husband?” (Luke 1: 34)
Mary pondered the words of the angel Gabriel. She did not argue or challenge but rather, asked a clarifying question. She listened and heard God’s invitation and her heart was open to His plan for her life and for humanity.
Her words and her response encourage us to expand our prayer during Lent to ask God, “How can this be?”. Her words remind us that God wants us to ask Him questions and be fully engaged in the conversation. We can ask Him anything that is weighing on our hearts! He desires a two-way conversation, the true sign of a personal relationship.
“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1: 38)
After pondering the words of the angel in Luke (1:37) that nothing will be impossible for God, Mary responded with words of complete trust even if she didn’t fully understand. Her words remind us that God wants us to fully trust Him even when we don’t understand a situation, circumstance, or challenge in our lives.
In the Lord’s Prayer, we pray, Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. These words echo Mary’s words, Let it be done to me according to your word.
During our Lenten prayers, may the spoken words of our Blessed Mother encourage us to:
- Engage in a two-way conversation with God and ask Him anything that is weighing on our hearts.
- Pray “Thy will be done” in complete trust, echoing Mary’s “Yes” to God.
As we embrace Mary’s vocation as our vocation, we can also remember the words of St. Pope John Paul II:
“From Mary we learn to surrender to God’s will in all things. From Mary we learn to trust even when all hope seems gone. From Mary we learn to love Christ her Son and the Son of God.”
Debbie Garza is a parishioner of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Leon Springs, and is an experienced Pilgrimage Group Leader with Pilgrim Center of Hope. She has traveled with Pilgrim Center of Hope to the Holy Land, Italy, and Greece. She says, “On pilgrimage, I know the ears and eyes of my heart have been opened by God’s grace and I’ve experienced the Joy of the Gospel. I am committed to helping other pilgrims experience their personal journey of faith.” Debra is also a member of Pilgrim Center of Hope’s Speaker Team.
Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.