Mary our Model
Why do we get in the habit of doing activities for passing time? What is the point of it? Perhaps it's playing an instrument one time, and then enjoying the way it sounds and how accomplishing it feels to make the sound, that you practice to get better and to repeat that first feeling continually and help others to hear it as well. Maybe it's doing a sport or a brisk walk in the evening. It wears you out in the end, but the adrenaline rush and the good feeling of staying healthy and improving oneself makes you want to do it all the time. How then is a habit, or a pastime activity similar to the feeling we get of continually searching and returning to God?
Today's Gospel states: 'Next day, the crowd that had stayed on the other side saw that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not got into the boat with his disciples, but that the disciples had set off by themselves. Other boats, however, had put in from Tiberias, near the place where the bread had been eaten. When the people saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into those boats and crossed to Capernaum to look for Jesus. When they found him on the other side, they said to him, 'Rabbi, when did you come here?' Jesus answered: In all truth I tell you, you are looking for me not because you have seen the signs but because you had all the bread you wanted to eat. Do not work for food that goes bad, but work for food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of man will give you, for on him the Father, God himself, has set his seal. Then they said to him, 'What must we do if we are to carry out God's work?' Jesus gave them this answer, 'This is carrying out God's work: you must believe in the one he has sent'' (John 6:22-29).
I heard in a talk from our Church last night a great interpretation of Mary's life, how she openly accepted God's will for her in everything, from Jesus' conception, to his death. Her faith never wavered and she lived on the very belief that everything good and bad comes from God, everything. In order to receive God's blessings for us, we need to have our hands open, just as we do for receiving the Eucharist at communion. We search for activities to fill or time, but even these come from God. Jesus tells his disciples that they seek him because they realize how good, how blessed they feel when following God's plan. Let us all then get into the practice of accepting God's will for us with hands open, as Mary does throughout her entire life.
Today's prayer comes from 'Catholic Online' a prayer for Mary as our model:
All praise and glory are Yours, almighty Father: You have given us Your Son Jesus to save us from sin. We praise You for choosing Mary to be His mother, for teaching her to believe Your message, for helping her to accept Your holy will. Strengthen us by Your Spirit to be like Mary: to ponder Your word in our hearts, to obey Your will, to love Your Son, to sing Your praises every day. Father, we praise You through Jesus Christ Your Son in the love of Your Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.