There is much truth in that simple statement. The Church offers us Mary as a model of discipleship. Following on her footsteps, we have a guarantee of becoming good followers of Christ … and of reaching the peak. Today’s gospel presents us with the story when Mary went to visit Elizabeth. She had just received the news from the archangel that she had been chosen to be the mother of Jesus. In spite of the fact that she could not understand the why and how of that choice, coupled with the fears of the consequences, she said “yes” to God’s word. And she did not do so begrudgingly. It was a joyful yes, a joy which found expression in the explosion of the Magnificat which she sang in Elizabeth’s presence.
Our Mother Mary can help us a lot in our desire to follow Jesus. Like each one of us, she had her dreams, her plans, her desires. However, she did not allow any of this to interfere with God’s plans for her. She knew that her “yes” to the angel’s message could mean the end of her relationship with Joseph, if not the end of her own life! And yet, God looked after all the details for her and thanks to that “yes” she became the one to give Jesus to the world. Isn’t this what we, as Christians, are called to be – people who bring Jesus to the world? After that, she continued to follow Jesus until the very end. God knows how many times she wondered what was happening, each time Jesus was misunderstood or simply rejected by his people. Who can imagine what was going through her mind as she followed her son towards Calvary and seeing him hanging on the cross? And yet, she never stopped believing that God was in all this, the life-giving God who is more powerful than death itself. Elizabeth greeted her with the words: “blessed is she who believed.” The faith which Mary showed at the Annunciation continued to carry her throughout her whole life. Her assumption into heaven is, then, only the climax of a life fully lived in being attuned to God’s word. In one of the prayers during today’s Mass we pray, “rightly you would not allow her to see the corruption of the tomb since from her own body she marvelously brought forth your incarnate Son, the Author of all life.”
I’m sure that each and every one of us has moments in our lives when we ask “How can this be?” – moments when we simply wonder what God has in mind. We live through times when we are tempted to do our own thing, rather than listening to God’s voice. Mary’s example encourages us to trust, and to believe. With her help and with her prayers, we too can arrive at our destination, reaching the peak.