We have this wonderful reading from the prophet Micah, chapter 5, for the first reading today. Micah is speaking to this small community of believers who have experienced dejection and oppression, and feel as if they have been forgotten. Micah is consoling this group with a vision of hope and salvation. The prophet calls to mind for them that our God has a plan for justice and peace and they have a major part of this plan.
Mary must have heard these stories dozens of times at the feet of her parent's. She must have heard the prayers of the elders and listened to the old women tell stories; all centered on the faithfulness of God. Even a young Mary is able to offer a wise reflection in Luke's Gospel, 'My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,' since she had come to know that God has an awesome plan of salvation. This knowledge and observation of men and women's faithfulness had helped her draw the conclusion that God is very faithful. This is all the more reason for her to have every faith and confidence in God, as she is asked to become the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. While her 'Yes' might seem to be quite impulsive, it must have been forming in her heart for many years.
For our Church to do the mission entrusted to it, it needs to have the same sort of belief and trust as did Mary. Recognizing the desire of God for a people committed to conversion and discipleship. When it comes time to dealing with issues of life, human dignity, compassion and a Christian lifestyle, the Church should take the model of faith from Mary and stand courageous against Sin and Evil. We can reach into our bag of faith and tradition and pull our a life based in integrity and truth.
I had just read something the other day about Teresa of Avila, and how she challenged her Sisters to take seriously their vocation to pray for the Church and for the world. She recognized that even her Sisters could become so overwhelmed by the pettiness of life, that they were neglecting to bring before God the issues and concerns that really mattered.Teresa was distressed by a Church, and a world, that was struggling against Sin and Evil. She knew that the Church needed to be a champion for the good.
In Luke's Gospel Mary comments that God will lift up the lowly, and feed the hungry. Of course she knows that this is to become a task of the Church. More so our proclaiming and live 'Good News' becomes a ministry of the Church. We are called to have every confidence that God is part of our story, as we go about proclaiming the greatness of the Lord.