May is the month set aside by the Church to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary. As we honor Mary, I am reminded of the word of the scriptures, “Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste…” At this time of year, I think many people can appreciate the idea of taking a trip. Many of us will head up north or some other destination. We will be going on a vacation. But the trip Mary went on was far from a vacation! Mary had just been told by the angel that she would be the Mother of God. And rather than keeping the news to herself, or wondering how to cope, she sets out on a journey to visit her cousin Elizabeth – and we have the wonderful story of her visit. Not only does Mary take this journey to the town of Judah but, with this event life begins – an adventure with tremendous faith, and boundless trust. While this is true, I would like you to think of the Blessed Mother as a woman of action. From what we know in Luke’s gospel once Mary began her journey; the journey never seems to end. Mary was constantly on the move! After the visit with Elizabeth, we next find Mary on another difficult trip, while pregnant, to Bethlehem. After giving birth, Mary, Jesus and Joseph, flee to Egypt to escape death. We read in the scriptures that next Mary is traveling to Jerusalem, where Jesus goes missing – and we follow her in search of him. Finding Jesus in the temple and then traveling home with him to Nazareth. Mary is known as the first disciple, in many ways she patterns the example of faith that the 12 disciples will follow – they will travel on foot throughout the world to proclaim the Good News. Like the disciples, Mary was a missionary – the first missionary, a woman who traveled and brought Christ to the world. In the Magnificat Mary gives all Christians a declaration of her own faith and a pattern for us to follow in our own devotion to God.
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord My spirit rejoices in God my Savior; For he looked with favor on his lowly servant
From this day all generations will call me blessed; The Almighty has done great things for me, And holy is his Name.
He has shown the strength of his arm, He scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the might from their thrones, And lifted up the lowly.
He had filled the hungry with good things, And the rich he sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel For her remembered his promise of mercy, The promise he made to our fathers, To Abraham and his children forever.
I would encourage you to be a missionary disciple of Jesus Christ, to become a person of action, and travel in faith the path God sets before you, as Mary did. And like Mary share your faith with those around you. The Church reminds us in the month of May to venerate Mary, to pray our rosaries, to become a disciple of Jesus, and to allow our souls to “proclaim the greatness of God”. Mary truly was “full of grace”. We can be fill of grace as well, if we follow her example of holiness and faith. Please remember the Council in your prayers, especially the sick and the suffering. Your prayers bring them comfort and peace. Mary, pray for us!
Fr. Steve Koehler
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