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 | By Sean O'Neill

Unshakable Trust

The tradition of dedicating May to the Blessed Virgin Mary has been around for centuries. It is a comfort to many of us to think of the glorious assumption of Our Lady, her coronation in heaven and the immense power of her intercession.

But this is not where her story began.

When God chose a woman to be the mother of Jesus, he did not look for someone with an exalted social position. Nor did he ordain that Jesus should arrive in power. His entry into our world came through childbirth, in a dark stable, to a virgin.

Childbirth in those days was dangerous. The infant mortality rate was extremely high, and often the life expectancy of the mother was dramatically lower than nowadays. So, when Mary agreed to be a mother, she was taking her life and the life of her baby in her hands. 

But what is more astonishing to us is that she agreed to become a mother apparently out of wedlock, when the legal penalties for that kind of transgression were extremely severe. And yet Mary responds to her predicament joyfully, proclaiming, “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my savior.” (Lk 1:46)

And things looked even bleaker at Jesus’ presentation in the Temple, where Simeon imparted the news that Mary’s future would be full of suffering. Our Lady could bear great suffering as she watched her son being crucified because she trusted in God’s love and providence even amid evident disaster.

Mary’s example teaches us that God’s ways are sometimes mysterious. Yet, Mary trusted entirely in God’s love for her and that his plans were for her good. God sees the final picture, which to us may well be opaque. But we can be sure he loves us and wants only what is best for us.

Even when our circumstances seem beyond repair, God is still working to bring about his great plan to save us. The unprecedented miracle of the resurrection tells us as much. His plan is not just for a faceless crowd of humanity but for each of us individually. Mary teaches us that no one is irrelevant or too lowly for God to use. In God’s dynamic, the humble will always be exalted.

Mary is now enthroned in the highest place in heaven and calls us now to have faith in God’s love, mercy and providence, just as she did.