Walking By Faith And Not By Sight

Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ,

It is not uncommon for people to attribute divine-type knowledge to Jesus of Nazareth, after all, He was the Son of God. Sometimes we do the same thing to Mary. We think that she knew everything that was going to happen to her son, that she lived her life with this unbounded faith and simply went merrily about her days. But God did not supply her with a moment-by-moment script. When Gabriel announced to Mary that she would give birth to the Son of God, it was anything but detailed. The Gospel tells us that she was not completely sure what this was all about.

                                 "she was greatly troubled at what was said

                              and pondered what sort of greeting this might be." 

Rather than having some sort of divine map to follow, Mary had to walk by faith. And if you think about some of the things she was asked to do and the trials she was required to go through, that faith was strong indeed. Just think about some of the Christmas cards you have received and art you have seen depicting the shepherds and the magi. Now imagine some smelly hill people or some foreigners you've never seen walk into your maternity ward and grab your newborn baby. What would your reaction be? I bet it wouldn't be, "Oh, isn't this so cute." Or imagine losing your child in the largest metropolitan city in the world.

Witnessing Jesus go through His Passion would have been tremendously difficult for everyone who loved Jesus of Nazareth, his family, his disciples and friends, but imagine how difficult it was for His mother. There were moments when even Jesus was uncertain about the path He was walking. Was this truly the will of His Father? Imaging the angst that Mary had to be going through. Every fiber of her being must have wanted to help her Son. Not only did Mary's life require a lot of faith, but it also demanded a tremendous amount of trust. Mary truly is a model for us to follow, especially when we are unsure exactly what our God is asking of us. When we must walk by faith and not by sight, it is Mary, with the conviction of a loving mother, who tells us to go ahead and trust her Son.

In the Redeemer,

Fr. Rick