Prep work for renewal: Weekly Message for 09-06-2022

Dear Friends in Christ,

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s upcoming feast is a reminder of how God quietly prepares to bring about big change in the world. 

Our Lady’s nativity came only about 15 years before Jesus’ birth, an event so profound that it split history into B.C. and A.D. Her birth was thus a remote preparation for that great revelation that God would give us in his Incarnate Son.

It was Mary’s “May it be done to me” at the Annunciation that opened the way for Jesus to take on human flesh. In fact, her perfect obedience to the divine will gave God the kind of cooperation he wanted to unfold his plan for mankind’s redemption.

What might this mean for us?

It means that God’s plan to save souls is ongoing, and he looks to us to do our part by imitating, to some degree, the faith, obedience and charity Mary displayed. We can do this in little ways: teaching a child or grandchild to pray; reaching out to a lost sheep in the family; pitching in to help with a parish project—God uses all of this to change hearts and minds.

If this sounds overly optimistic, it shouldn’t. “For God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). So, if we want to help the world snap out of its moral tail-spin, let’s imitate Mary. Let’s give God first place in our life. 

For inspiration, you might look at our Retreat Guide on St. John Paul II, Be Not Afraid. It’s no coincidence that the great Pope, who helped renew the Church at a critical moment, had a great devotion to Our Lady.

That might be a lesson for all of us.

In Christ,

Father Edward McIlmail, LC
Ask a Priest contributor

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