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Mary: Our Model of Perfection and Communion

Mary’s life and faith, though wrought with many difficulties, is the ultimate surrender and commitment to God. Let us follow her example in our daily lives.

"Be a little Mary. She is the light and model for us on our own path of perfection.” 

These were the words that made my heart flutter in the first retreat I attended after my foreign studies. In the Focolare (The Work of Mary) spirituality, I have learned to reflect on the moments of Mary’s life and how we can live similar moments in our lives.

In the Annunciation, she gave her yes to God. At age 22, I was asking the Holy Spirit to enlighten me as to what vocation to pursue and in a meeting, as the different lay vocations were being presented, I heard a whisper “this is for you.”

Then in the Visitation, Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth and gives her concrete service. She is the example of how we can love and serve our neighbor. In this pandemic, we can be sensitive to the needs of others. One day I got a text from a laundry woman sharing her challenge of having three children who can’t afford the computer to enable them to study online. At once, my children and I decided to upgrade a computer at home and gave it as a gift to them. 

How do we live the Birth of Jesus?  It is when we love and are loved in return. Mutual love generates Jesus in our midst.  After that is the Presentation, a moment of joy but also of suffering. Simeon tells Mary, “And a sword will pierce you.”  In our life there is the cross that we have to embrace. 

One big trial was the Flight to Egypt. Sometimes, there are disruptions in our lives that require us to move out of our comfort zones and adapt to difficult situations ahead of us. They require strong faith and courage.  

Then we experience the Desolation of Mary–when she lost Jesus and was put in the care of John. She stood at the foot of the cross, sharing in the pain and abandonment of her Son. God also permits these trials to happen in our lives when we lose a loved one and everything seems to be lost.

After that we see the Transformation of Mary at Pentecost, when she continued to be a mother to the apostles for the spread of the Church. Lastly, we have the Assumption. We are called to be like Mary, a model in her constant “yes” to God. 

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