In today’s Gospel, as we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, we are reminded of Mary’s obedience to God. After the Angel Gabriel appeared to her and told her she would be the mother of God, Mary said: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”
Her fiat—her yes—should be a lesson to us all.
Mary said yes because she trusted in the Lord. Trust in the Lord means that we don’t spend time fretting about the things in life we have no control over. As St. Padre Pio said, “Pray, hope, and don’t worry.” We pray. We tell God what we need and what we want, and we do our best to work toward that goal if it’s something we can do. Then we have hope.
But hope isn’t just a wish. Hope means that we understand that Christ walks with us through our trials, that He carries us in times of extreme difficulty, and that He will never leave us. And then we put the situation in God’s hands. When we have done all we can do, we trust that His will will be done. Giving up that control and giving up that worry are hard things to do. But, as we say in the Our Father, “Thy will be done.”
Trust is telling God that we are okay with whatever He decides and that, if it’s the opposite of what we wanted, we understand that He will help us through it.
Mary understood this. She trusted in God, and she told Him yes even though she was very likely confused.
Giving our fiat to God and living our daily lives with a trust in Him like Mary’s can be really difficult at times. Sometimes we just don’t understand what God is trying to do with our lives. We feel hurt, lonely, isolated, rejected, or confused, and we begin to lose hope. Maybe we even begin to feel worthless.
That is when trust is of vital importance. When we trust that God walks those difficult times with us, we become stronger. When we talk to God in prayer, we strengthen our relationship. When we surrender to Him, we feel at peace.
Just as Mary understood that she was a beloved daughter of God, so must we, for we are all beloved sons and daughters of God. And we must have faith that He wants what’s best for us.
So, today, let us ask for Mary’s help and intercession as we grow in faith. Let us ask her to help us say yes to God—no matter what He asks of us. When we do so, we will discover the unbelievable fruits of this trust.
Susan Ciancio has a BA in psychology and a BA in sociology from the University of Notre Dame, with an MA in liberal studies from Indiana University. For the past 17 years, she has worked as a professional editor and writer, editing both fiction and nonfiction books, magazine articles, blogs, educational lessons, professional materials and website content. Eleven of those years have been in the pro-life sector. Currently Susan freelances and writes weekly for HLI, edits for American Life League, and is the editor of Celebrate Life Magazine. She also serves as executive editor for the Culture of Life Studies Program-an educational nonprofit program for K-12 students.
Feature Image Credit: GonzaloGY, https://www.cathopic.com/photo/853-estatua-maria-rezando