"What can I give him poor as I am?"
Sr. Maria McGuire (DW) Daughter of Wisdom writes:
When the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary at the Annunciation asking her to be the Mother of the Messiah we are told she 'pondered this in her heart' (Luke 1:26 cf). Mary would have known of the long awaited Messiah as she would have known of the Prophecies relating to Him. No doubt all these passed through her mind as she pondered the Angel's message in her heart. Then came her answer! I often reflect on this pregnant moment in the world's history and imagine the whole of creation holding its breath awaiting on Mary's "Yes" and when she responded I again imagine the whole of creation heaving a great Sigh of relief? " Let it be done to me according to your word". (Luke 1:38 )
On the face of it her "yes" seemed a simple enough word, but when we reflect on this "yes" it would be of Messianic promise and a world redeemed for ever. We would all have a place in God's Heavenly City. Because of this heroic little word Jesus entered our world, silently becoming a weak vulnerable babe born into poverty. God loved the world so much that He sent his only begotten Son (Jn 3:16) into a very broken world so Jesus would fulfil the plan of Salvation, redeeming and freeing everyone from the clutches of sin and the evil one.
Mary, The Theotokos, Woman par excellence became the Mother of our Redeemer. What an honour was bestowed on her that God chose her for this unique role no other could fulfil. She gave her whole heart and life to Jesus; tending his every need as a baby, looked for him when he was lost, rejoiced when she found him like any parent would.(Luke 2:48) Walked every step of the way with Him through his life even to the Cross. She was never absent from Him nor He her.
Mary as we know says very little in The Gospels but her presence speaks louder than words ! She was a silent presence as she stood beside Jesus at the foot of the Cross. What was in her heart as she stood there seeing her beautiful Son bleeding and dying before her eyes and she a Mother could not wipe the blood from his face. How desolate she was as she stood quietly listening to him struggling to breathe and the effort it took for Him to say to John 'behold your Mother', and to His Mother ' behold your Son'. (Jn 19:26-27). And Simeon’s words would echo in her heart ‘a sword will pierce your heart.(Luke 2:35)
Like Jesus, Mary knew how to die to self out of her great love she had for her Son. She the one Full of Grace, (Luke 1:28) the Woman Par Excellence in a unique way holds out her Son to us now to receive all the graces and gifts we desire. Will we open our hearts to receive Him, to love Him, to be the bringers of peace and joy into the brokenness of our world? Or will we miss the point and allow ourselves to be distracted by the world's materialistic and secular approach to the birth of Christ. He is our only way, our only truth and our whole life.(Jn 14:6)
God in his Wisdom holds out the greatest gift to each of us to ‘be’ His loving presence among people. By God's Divine Initiative we have the gift to be able to love. This gift liberates us from the 'I wants to the what can do' to reach out in love, mercy and compassion towards our neighbour. What we do with this precious gift is our gift to God. Mary’s heroic life of unconditional love shows us the way to her Son.
'Give Him your now and everyday’’
Then we can say "Let it be done to me according to your word." (Luke 1:38) and so we can 'Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven' ( Mt 5:12)