Evangelization Matters!

Mary, The Model Disciple

Posted by RENEW International on Dec 9, 2016 4:02:46 PM

PIC_Mary_Disciple.jpg“Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’
But Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?’ And the angel said to her in reply, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.’”  
(Luke 1:30-35)

“How can this be?” This is a normal reaction from a person faced with something that does not seem to make sense. Mary, an ordinary, humble girl, is visited by an angel who tells her she will conceive a son, though she has no husband. The angel continues by telling her that the child is the Messiah that her people have longed for. Is it any wonder she responds, “How can this be?” The next time we have an invitation to discover God’s purpose in our lives, we can consider what makes Mary a model disciple.

Respond with a ‘Yes.’ Mary doesn’t try to bargain with the angel, “Let me just get married first; then I can be the mother of God,” or take charge of the situation, “If this is going to happen, we have some planning to do!” Rather, her response is one of complete acceptance of God’s will. It is a complete and total “Yes.” There is almost no hesitation when she says: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).

Mary’s “yes” with no questions or conditions shows us her trust and belief in God. She is the first disciple who hears the word of God and says yes. Her yes is paralleled years later in her son’s acceptance of God’s will on the night before his crucifixion: “Not my will but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).

Trust in God. This young girl is not given any specifics about what her life will be like after this day. What she does is place her complete trust in God and does what God asks. This is what it means to be a disciple. And being a disciple means we share the word of God with others as Mary does by bringing the word of God to her cousin Elizabeth.

We know that Mary will suffer heartache as she watches her son suffer and die, but even then she knows that God is with her. She does not abandon her son but stands at the foot of his cross.

Mary is the model of discipleship we are called to emulate. As Pope Francis describes in The Joy of the Gospel, “Mary let herself be guided by the Holy Spirit on a journey of faith towards a destiny of service and fruitfulness. Today we look to her and ask her to help us proclaim the message of salvation to all and to enable new disciples to become evangelizers in turn.” [287]. For this reason, Mary is called the ‘Star of Evangelization.”

Ponder in our hearts. The Gospels often describe Mary as a thoughtful and faithful person who reflects on God’s action in her life.  Spend time each day considering how God is calling you to be a disciple in your life. As you pray, ponder what holds you back from accepting what God is requesting and ask to be moved to simply say, “Yes.”

Mary, Virgin and Mother,
you who, moved by the Holy Spirit,
welcomed the word of life
in the depths of your humble faith:
as you gave yourself completely to the Eternal One,
help us to say our own “yes”
to the urgent call, as pressing as ever,
to proclaim the good news of Jesus.

-Excerpt from The Joy of the Gospel [288]

Meet a current-day Mary who answered "yes" in her own life. Her video is one of 12 witness stories of faith incorporated into Be My Witness



Topics: Why Evangelization Matters, The Joy of the Gospel

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