In our message series, Wonder Women: Female Heroes of the Bible, we have focused each week on the story of one woman in the scriptures and her heroic virtue. Today our focus is on the greatest of all women: Mary, the Mother of God and our Lord Jesus Christ and the wife of Joseph the carpenter.
The life of Mary is an inspiring example in many respects. Indeed, Saint Louis Marie de Montfort encourages us to practice and emulate the virtues of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a path to holiness. We should emulate her many positive qualities and virtues, including her (i) blind obedience to God, (ii) angelic sweetness, (iii) constant mental prayer, (iv) mortification in all things, (v) surpassing purity, (vi) heroic patience, (vii) divine wisdom, (viii) ardent charity, and (ix) lively faith. Perhaps more than any other virtue, however, Mary demonstrated great humility in her life, and it is this heroic quality that inspires us to follow her most closely.
Although humility is the root and foundation of all the virtues, it is sometimes misunderstood and regarded as a sign of weakness. However, to be humble means having a good knowledge of self, understanding one’s own defects and human limitations, despising no one, seeing everyone as God’s creation, not being arrogant or thinking you are better than other people, controlling one’s anger and frustration, and living an authentic life according to God’s will.
Having been the first human to be saved from sin, Mary welcomed the gift of salvation by seeing in God her ultimate end and object of her happiness. As a result she put into action the virtue of profound humility, which all Christians called to holiness and eternal life should imitate.
In the readings today, the Israelites questioned Moses for bringing them into the desert to suffer, even though their deliverance from slavery was for their own good. Knowing that their rebellion was the result of extreme hunger, God in his magnanimity and simplicity provided meat for them, as well as manna from heaven. In the gospel, Jesus knew that the people also were carried away with material rather than spiritual hunger. Though we may be tempted in the same way, it is through the virtue of humility that we, like Mary, recognize our truest hunger for God and seek our total fulfillment in him.
Mary now continues to intercede humbly for us whenever we come to her in prayer seeking her maternal intercession. Apart from the Sacrifice of the Mass, the next most powerful and efficacious prayer is the Holy Rosary. When we come to Mary in humility she takes our pleas to her Son, Jesus, and her Son never says “no” to his mother because of her great humility.
Let us emulate our mother Mary in her commitment to God and her humility, because a hero is humble.
--Fr. Celestine Tyowua, Associate Pastor
Father Roger Gustafson