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The Virgin Mary: A Faithful and Willing Disciple

The Virgin Mary: A Faithful and Willing Disciple

Of all the women characters in the Bible, The Virgin Mary is probably the most famous and most loved by Christians because of her exceptional qualities.  In fact, she is such a role model that until today, the Virgin Mary or Mother Mary is venerated by millions of people around the world. Why is Mary so special? What did she do to deserve such respect and admiration? Let's find out.

Mary was just an ordinary woman but God has chosen her to become the mother of Jesus, Son of God and the world's Savior. We can learn how Mary was greatly favored by God in Luke 1: 26-38.

26In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be calledb the Son of God. 36Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37For no word from God will ever fail.”

38“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Mary could have been very confused, frightened and troubled during that moment. She could have refused that role she was about to take but instead, she obeyed and submitted to God's will. She did not fully understood her mission but her strong faith and trust to God prevailed more than the fear of public humiliation when she accepted a pregnancy out of marriage. 

Mary became the best mother than she can be to Jesus. She endured a long journey to ensure the safety of the child she was carrying. She gave birth at the most unlikely place without any complaints. She was beaming with joy when the wise men and shepherds bowed to the baby Jesus. Mary together with Joseph, raised Jesus according to the law of God. They observed important Jewish traditions as written in Luke 2:22-39.

 22When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”b ), 24and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.” 

39When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

The most difficult test of faith and willingness which Mary has to experience was the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. No mother would want her kid to suffer but Mary knew very well that Jesus in order to redeem the world must die. So once again, Mary submitted herself to the will of God.

The Virgin Mary teaches us so many things: being pure, being humble, being selfless, being a good mother but more importantly being a faithful and willing disciple of God. 

In life, there are so many times when things happen against our will. In spite of planning ahead we are surprised with sudden obstacles or changes. Exactly five years ago, I was at the peak of my teaching career in an exclusive school. Although there were management issues but the pay was more than good enough I was happy with what I was doing. I thought of working for the next 10-15 years and then retire. Then my eldest who was three-year old at that time became very sickly. He would get better but eventually get sick again in the following week or month. That was the time when I get to realize that I have been spending less time with my family. There were so many instances when I get home but still do paper works and never get to spend quality time with my husband and baby. I felt so guilty and just decided stay home and take care of them. Although my mind was telling me it was unwise to quit my job, my heart was telling me otherwise. I had a leap of faith. I resigned in order to take care of my family. It was so unplanned but I really prayed and trusted God to take care of me.  My decision was not supported by my parents, colleagues and friends. At first I was so worried that I did made the wrong decision but God is really good. God truly provides and grant you favors the least you expect them. God opened a new door for me through an online job where I get to write articles and prayers at my most convenient time. Indeed I was so blessed. I was able to find employment while taking care of family. Just when I thought that quitting my job would turn me into a bitter, insecure and useless being, I became a better person.

Closing Prayer:

Most Loving God, it is you who I trust and need. I pray that you walk with me and guide me till the end. I need your wisdom and guidance for without you, I would be a lost sheep. I may not fully understand your plans for me but please see my trusting and willing heart. Let me rely on you Lord instead of my own reasoning. Let me seek you Lord in everything.  Amen. 

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